Plans to ban leaseholds on new-build houses in England

Share:

"Unfair charges" levied on buyers of new-build houses could be banned in England under a proposed crackdown.

Mark Loveday features in this BBC article following the announcement by Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, that "leaseholds on new-build houses would be outlawed, while ground rents could be dramatically reduced, under government plans subject to public consultation."

Mark's comments can be found below or you can view the full article on the BBC website, here.

'Unfair' service charges - what can you do?

Mark Loveday, a barrister at Tanfield Chambers and a member of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) says there is a considerable amount of legislation to protect people against unfair service charges.

"If a leaseholder is paying excessive service charges, they may issue court proceedings or complain to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Alternatively, leaseholders can contact members of ALEP who will offer expert advice on the issue. There is also the government-funded Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) which provides free advice to flat owners," he adds.

"However, the majority of leaseholders will take their disputes to tribunals. These are low-cost, low-fee specialist bodies which deal with the vast majority of service charge disputes.

"Tribunals have the jurisdiction to do various things such as determine service charges and enforce restrictions or allow a majority of leaseholders to take over the management of a building. Indeed, figures between 2004 and 2013 show that service charge and management claims in tribunals more than doubled in that period."