Minister will NOT crack down on toxic leasehold deals that trap families and blames 'excited' buyers

Mail Online | 2/6/2019 | Matt Oliver;Arthur Martin for the Daily Mail
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A housing minister has refused to help families stuck in toxic leasehold deals.

Heather Wheeler dismissed claims of mis-selling and said fresh legislation would trigger a 'horrendously expensive' wave of compensation claims.

Numbers - Campaigners

She appeared to play down the numbers affected, saying it could be as low as 12,000 and not the 100,000 cited by campaigners.

And she said buyers might have been 'caught up in the moment' and 'excited' when they signed leases for first homes.

Mrs - Wheeler - Developers - Property - Companies

Mrs Wheeler said she would prefer to rely on developers and property companies voluntarily giving families better terms.

Government estimates suggest there are 4.3million homes with leases in England, 1.4million of them houses.

Leasehold - Knowledge - Partnership - Campaign - Families

The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership campaign believes 100,000 families are trapped in houses that are now unsellable because their contracts are so unfair.

Some double charges every decade, while other freeholds are sold on to third parties who only allow homeowners to buy them out for exorbitant fees.

Ministers - Sale - Homes - Leases - Outcry

Ministers have pledged to outlaw the sale of newly built homes with leases following a public outcry.

But Mrs Wheeler's comments suggest those already hit by the problem will be left to fend for themselves.

Commons - Committee - Mrs - Wheeler - Advice

Speaking at a Commons committee, Mrs Wheeler said legal advice showed legislation would be 'horrendously expensive', adding: 'I'd much rather go down the voluntary route.

There have been agreements between freeholders and leaseholders and clearly we want that momentum to carry on.'

Mail - Way - Leasehold - Scandal - Clauses

The Mail has led the way in exposing the leasehold scandal, including where clauses make ground rents double every decade.

The issue has been dubbed 'the PPI of the housebuilding industry' – a reference to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance by banks.

Campaigners - Developers - 'feudal - Agreements - Cash

Campaigners say developers used the 'feudal' agreements to squeeze extra cash out of families desperate to get on the housing ladder – many with the support of the taxpayer through Help to Buy....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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