Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey
Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey

Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey MP, is set to visit Bury in December to hear from local homeowners who feel ripped off by their leasehold contracts.

John Healey, coming to Bury on 6th December at the invitation of local MP James Frith, will meet with local residents affected by leasehold. Labour is calling on the government to launch an inquiry into the scandal of mis-sold leasehold homes.

An estimated 72% of local houses in Bury North constituency have been sold as leasehold in the most recent year for which data is available, one of the highest figures in the North West. Across the region, almost 47,000 new build leasehold homes have been sold over the last eight years, the highest number in any region outside London.

In the North West a higher proportion of leasehold homes are houses compared to any other region in England. Almost two-thirds of new build leasehold homes sold in the region over the last eight years were houses. The leasehold arrangement is most common for flats.

Buying a home on a leasehold arrangement means the home is technically leased from a freeholder for a set period, rather than entirely owned by the buyer.

Homeowners who bought their property on a leasehold arrangement are often locked into contracts which force them to seek permission to make basic alterations to the property, or to build extensions such as conservatories, despite no planning permission being required.

Some leaseholders discover too late that they are obliged to pay extortionate ground rents, while others are locked into rip-off service charges. Many didn’t choose their own solicitor and feel they were poorly advised when purchasing their home. Survey data suggests almost six in ten leaseholders didn’t understand what being a leaseholder meant until they had already purchased the property, and more than nine in ten leaseholders regret buying a leasehold property at all.

In the House of Commons this month, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey MP, challenged Government Ministers to set up an inquiry into the mis-selling of leasehold homes, a call backed by Bury North MP James Frith.

James said:

“I became aware from local casework coming into my office that this was a real issue for a lot of people and raised it with John Healey in Parliament. He agreed with me and called on the government to launch an inquiry into this national scandal.

“I’m delighted he’s accepted my invitation to come to Bury to hear directly from local leaseholders and I look forward to working with him to push the government to do the right thing and investigate leasehold mis-selling as a matter of urgency.”

Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey MP, said:

“Leaseholders find they’ve bought their home but still don’t own it, and many feel ripped off by unfair leasehold contracts.

“This is a national scandal but the Government’s action to date has been too weak, too slow and has overlooked the plight of existing leaseholders. Ministers must act to back an inquiry into this systematic leasehold mis-selling, as with other mis-selling scandals like pensions, endowment mortgages and PPI.

“I was pleased to accept James’s invitation to come to Bury to hear directly from those affected by this and look forward to taking those views back to Parliament to continue to challenge the government to do the right thing.”

Residents affected by leasehold mis-selling who wish to come to the meeting at 6pm on 6th December should complete the form below and a member of James Frith’s team will be in touch.

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