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Thousands of new and first time buyers have seen their dream of owning their own home turn into a nightmare. Unbeknownst to many of the people who snapped up houses from new developments, incremental increases in ground rent charges every decade will see some homeowners having to pay thousands of pounds per year.

 

These new homes start with reasonable ground rent charges of around £200 per year but are set to double every decade; this means in 50 years’ time, some homeowners will be paying £6,400 per year. Had they been made aware of this at the time, the vast majority of homebuyers say they would not have gone ahead with the purchase.

 

In light of this, mortgage lenders are now adjusting their lending criteria and many of the homes already sold run the risk of becoming mortgageable. This leaves thousands of people with unsellable homes that may even go into negative equity.

 

Concerns have also been raised at what homeowners feel was deliberate ambiguity and deception on the part of the property developers and their recommend conveyancing solicitors. Pushy sales staff and aggressive completion dates meant that people were unable to adequately scrutinise the terms and conditions. Upon completion, many of the property developers went on to sell the freehold to obscure third party companies.

 

An All Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold Reform has been created and so far has over 80 participants.

 

Kate Osamor, MP for Edmonton said:

 

"I have heard many stories from first-time buyers who have worked incredibly hard to buy their first home and did so in good faith. Unfortunately, their plans for the future have been thrown into complete turmoil. It should come as no surprise that leasehold has become the no1 issue for UK homeowners.

 

“The annual doubling of ground rents will not only lead to financial hardship for families but will also make the resale of their home incredibly difficult, with many lenders now wising up to the issue. The concerns raised about aggressive sales techniques and a lack of transparency and scrutiny are deeply troubling.

 

” I remain concerned that properties are currently being treated as a marketable commodity over the heads of owner-occupiers and I believe that we need urgent action to stop the exploitation of hard-working homeowners.”

Edmonton MP Says More Must Be Done for Those Affected By Leasehold Scandal

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Universal Credit is set to be rolled out across Enfield in August of this year, despite calls being made for the rollout to be delayed in order to address problems with the new system.

Universal Credit replaces 6 means-tested benefits, including Tax Credits, Employment and Support Allowance and Housing Benefit and by 2022, 7 million families will be in receipt of it. However, concerns have been raised by Citizens Advice and others that the new system is failing many people and forcing them into destitution.

Research conducted by Citizens Advice shows that some people are waiting up to 12 weeks for their first payment; people are struggling to cope with the complexity of the new system and people are not getting they support they need.

Due to the cuts made to core grant funding for Citizens Advice Enfield, there is set to be a reduced capacity for their ability to assist the expected surge in people requiring support.


Kate Osamor, MP for Edmonton said:

"I welcome any steps being made to simplify our social security system, however, it is vitally important that the rollout of Universal Credit does not leave people destitute.

"It is deeply concerning that 1 in 3 people have had to wait longer than six weeks for their first payment and 1 in 10 over 10 weeks. Many of my constituents rely on our social security system and it is vitally important that we see an end to vulnerable people slipping through the safety net.

"I have written to the Secretary of State for the DWP and urged him to delay the rollout of Universal Credit and to work with Citizens Advice and others to alleviate the problems that have arisen”.

Edmonton MP Calls on Government to Delay Rollout of Universal Credit in Enfield

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Kate Osamor MP

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