When your home is not your castle

I don't often use the phrase 'good to hear that the government is...' but here goes. It's good to hear that the government is acting to remove the iniquity of houses being sold leasehold.

I am currently trying to extend the lease on my flat. Like many flats, it was sold leasehold, and I will have to pay quite a bit of money to extend the lease. But fair dos. It was expected. And he ground rent is only a standard £50 a year. Apart from annoyances, such as that the details at the Land Registry are wrong, it is all relatively straightforward.

Not like those poor unsuspecting people who bought houses leasehold (and there is no need for houses to be leasehold) with a ground rent that doubles every few years. Leaving them with an unaffordable asset that they cannot sell.

This is iniquitous and greedy. So much for the English dream of owning your own home. Housebuilders, who for too long have baulked at building, now only seem to want to do so if they can ruin the householders. The bundling of unsustainable mortgages contributed hugely to the last financial crisis in the US. Let's hope the government has acted soon enough this time to avert a similar crisis here.

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The Conservation Report

An in-depth enquiry into architects’ attitudes to authenticity. Click here to download the Conservation Report 2015.