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Government to fund group to provide leasehold transparency

Housing minister Gavin Barwell says the government will provide “substantial investment” to ensure more transparency in leasehold tenure.

“We are determined to create a housing market that works for everyone. Millions of people own leasehold homes and I am determined to stamp out unfair, unjust and unacceptable abuse of the leasehold system” says Barwell.

“I want to see transparency and fairness for leaseholders and I am pleased to announce ongoing support for LEASE, who provide free, valuable advice for existing and prospective leaseholders” he adds.

Speaking at the Leasehold Annual Conference in London, Barwell also commended house builder Taylor Wimpey which recently found itself sharply criticised over the issue in the national press, and has now announced that it will stop building leasehold properties.

LEASE suggests leasehold tenure may rise as the government aims to boost the number of new homes; Land Registry figures show that leasehold made up 43 per cent of all new-build registrations in England and Wales in 2015 compared with 22 per cent in 1996.

It claims some 9,000 new homes last year were built and sold under leasehold tenure.

“By allocating sufficient funding to our resources ... means that we can continue to offer reliable and free advice to those who need it. This will lead the way for even better working practices for everyone involved, right from the start of the home buying process” says Tony Essien, chief executive of LEASE.

 “Naturally, many buyers can get so caught up in the excitement of buying their new home, and they may fail to look or understand the terms of the leasehold. England’s leasehold system is unique, so it is vitally important that buyers understand what they are purchasing so that their financial investment is protected in the future” he adds.

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