Time for DCLG Select Committee to call in developers to demand details of the scale of the leasehold rip-offs
Labour MP Helen Hayes is “disappointed” by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid’s response to the leasehold crisis.
Ms Hayes, who is MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, was responding to Mr Javid’s presentation on Wednesday to the DCLG Select Committee, of which she is a member.
She tells a constituent:
“Yesterday we were questioning the CLG Ministers, including the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid.
“The committee asked the Secretary of State about the issue of exploitative leases, and his response was disappointing.
“He indicated that the government’s sole focus at present was on calling a halt to the practice of issuing new exploitative leases, but that the government’s attention has not yet turned to the issue of the thousands of residents who are already tied in to exploitative leases.
“Please rest assured that I will continue to press the government on this issue and to hold them to account for the action that is urgently needed.
“I also met recently with Shadow Housing Minister, John Healey, who assured me of Labour’s commitment to support leaseholders who need a fairer deal.
“I will continue to work on this issue. Please do let me know if there is anything more that I can do to support you either with the campaign or with your individual circumstances.”
LKP urges the DCLG Select Committee to call in the developers and freehold speculators to demand answers to the scale of the leasehold rip-offs.
So far, Taylor Wimpey, Countryside Properties plc, E&J Capital Partners, Adriatic Land and the Ground Rents Income Fund plc (GRIF) have been dreaming up reputation-protecting strategies to resolve systematic shady dealing of their own creation.
Taylor Wimpey, for example, invites ripped off former customers to get in touch and it will re-write doubling ground rent leases with clauses raising ground rent linked to RPI (Retail price Inflation), not the more accepted fair indicator of inflation the Consumer Price Index.
BUT it won’t contact all affected leaseholders; it won’t say how many there are; or where they are. And it won’t offer leasehold house owners the freehold to their houses at the price originally promised by their sales staff – before the freeholds were sold off to anonymous speculators, often based offshore.
It is time Pete Redfern (TW), Ian Sutcliffe (Countryside), Will Astor (Adriatic Land / Long Harbour), James Tuttiett (E&J), and James Agar (GRIF) were summoned for what Sir Peter Bottomley calls the Philip Green treatment in order that we at last get some answers to the leasehold scandal.
Helen Hayes is right to be getting impatient with Sajid Javid, who has had months to deal with this and whose review is now concluded.