Today, Sharon submitted a letter to Heather Wheeler MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to pass on evidence received from constituents who are owners of leasehold properties as part of a constituency-wide consultation.
In November 2018, Sharon launched a consultation in the constituency and received 58 detailed responses highlighting the frustrations and problems that residents of Washington and Sunderland West have experienced.
It is estimated that 19% of sales in 2017 in Washington and Sunderland West involved leasehold property.
The letter provides and outline of numerous injustices surrounding the leasehold market that constituents detailed:
- Lack of consumer knowledge about leaseholds and lack of information provided by estate agents and solicitors on the implications of buying leasehold properties;
- A lack of transparency from the freeholder on the use of service charges;
- Constituents feeling stuck, being left without the option or financially unable to purchase the lease, at the point of sale or later when wanting to move homes, or extend the lease so that they can sell;
- Leases being sold on by the freeholder to third party companies without giving any notice given to the leaseholder
"I’m grateful to my constituents who got in touch with me about their experiences and concerns about leasehold properties.
“From the responses that I have received it is clear that more steps should be taken towards preventing further injustices with leasehold properties, and that the Government should commit to immediate measures to right these wrongs.
“I look forward to the Government’s response to this letter, and will share this with my constituents who have written to me about leasehold too.”