Want to have your say on the investigation into the leasehold market? You've got until tomorrow
Homeowners have until tomorrow to give their views on the leasehold housing market to the competition watchdog, after it launched an investigation.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched its investigation into the leasehold market last month, looking at two key areas:
- Potential mis-selling – whether people who have bought a leasehold property are given the information they need to fully understand the obligations they are taking on, for example the requirement to pay ground rent over a certain period of time, or whether they have a proper understanding of their ability to buy their freehold.
- Potentially unfair terms – whether people are having to pay excessive fees due to unfair contract terms. This will include administration, service and 'permission' charges – where homeowners must pay freeholders and managing agents before making home improvements – and ground rents, which in some cases can double every 10 years.
The CMA has written to companies across the sector – including developers, lenders and freeholders – requiring information for their input on the investigation, but it also wants to understand the impact such practices have on homeowners.
So it is calling on homeowners to share experiences that could be relevant, and wants to hear back by tomorrow.
For more information see our What is a leasehold? guide.
How do I have my say?
If you wish to provide information to the CMA, you can do so using the following email addresses. You can email information to more than one of the following addresses:
- Information about ground rents should be sent to Groundrents.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Information about service charges should be sent to Servicecharges.email@example.com
- Information about permission fees should be sent to Permissionfees.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Information about mis-selling should be sent to Misselling.email@example.com
- Information that doesn't fit into the categories above should go to Miscellaneous.firstname.lastname@example.org
In the subject of your email you should indicate the address of the property you're referring to, as well as other relevant information, such as the organisation you're complaining about, if making a complaint.
Provide as much detail as you can, including timescales and dates, values and frequency of payments.
What will the investigation lead to?
The investigation is in its infancy and the CMA hasn't reached a view on whether or not any person or company has broken consumer protection law.
If, when the investigation is concluded, the CMA thinks that a company's practices are misleading – or that its contracts contain unfair clauses – it could take enforcement action to require the company to change how it operates.