Leasehold Property Watchdog to be Launched by Government

An independent property watchdog has been proposed by the Government to tackle unfair practices in leasehold property sales.

Announced by Sajid Javid, communities minister, the suggested organisation will address rising service charges and ground rents in residential property purchases, following pressure from homeowners to confront the rising cost of owning a leasehold property.

In a document published earlier this week, Mr Javid invited the views of the public and the property industry, to find out how the Government can best protect the UK’s four million leasehold homeowners.

‘This is supposed to be the age of the empowered consumer,’ said Mr Javid. ‘Yet in property management, we’re living in the past.

‘Our proposed changes to regulate the industry will give landlords, renters and leaseholders the confidence they need to know that their agents must comply with the rules,’ he continued.

Research from independent consumer research group Which? revealed that the UK’s leaseholders were being held liable for an additional bn in costs per year, with the estimated value of service charges alone now reaching bn a year in the UK.

The Government’s consultation period is due to finish in November, marking the first stage in a wider plan to tackle the issues surrounding the leasehold market.