High Peak MP Ruth George has heard from lots of local residents who are worried about the additional charges they are facing since buying their properties as leaseholders and the costs and complications of buying the freehold of their home.
Ruth explained the predicament facing many new homeowners, especially in the new homes in the Chapel area.
“Many new homes in this area are only being sold on the basis of a long lease of 99 years or more. Homeowners then have to pay ground rent every year – which rises far higher than inflation – and also seek permission and pay high fees for all sorts of things which most of us would take for granted we could do in our own home.
“Home owners are being charged a huge range of fees for anything from having a pet (£100) to making alterations, and just getting a valuation of their freehold can cost £50,” Ruth added.
“And when people ask to buy their freehold, the cost is extortionate and they are advised to employ a solicitor to advise them. People who have just bought a home don’t want to be facing huge extra charges as mortgages are expensive enough already.
“The Government have consulted on ending unfair charges. I have asked when they will report back following the consultation, but Ministers will not say. That leaves people in a difficult situation – especially if they are thinking of buying a home, but don’t know if the rules will change.”
Ruth has organised a coffee morning on Saturday 4 November at St Thomas Becket Church, Market Place, Chapel-en-le-Frith, from 10.30am to 12noon for people to share their experiences and concerns.
Ruth said: “I know that leaseholding is a big issue, especially in Chapel-en-le-Frith, where hundreds of new houses have been and still are being sold on leasehold, not freehold. People are desperate for the system to be reformed.
“I am keen to hear how people have been affected as I have requested a debate on the issue in Parliament to press Ministers further to take action. I hope it will also assist residents to be able to get together when negotiating with the companies that hold their leases.”
“I hope that lots of people will be able to attend, whether they have concerns themselves, or on behalf of friends and family who are seeking to buy homes in the future. The meeting is in Chapel but it is open to residents across High Peak to share their experiences and I am happy to support anyone who feels they have been treated unfairly by this system.”