Labour have announced plans to end the leasehold scandal which affects thousands of homeowners in St Helens and millions across the country.
The five point plan includes a pledge to end the sale of new leasehold houses and flats, as well as cracking down on unfair fees and contract terms.
Newton-le-Willows Labour Councillors Seve Gomez-Aspron and Jeanie Bell recently met with St Helens North MP Conor McGinn in Westminster to discuss the issue.
Cllr Gomez-Aspron says: “A couple of years ago, the Labour group here in St Helens took a motion to council to condemn unscrupulous leasehold management firms, so it’s great news to see the national party take such a strong stance. In Newton-le-Willows almost every house built since the 1990s is leasehold, leaving residents vulnerable to unfair and excessive charges. Councils unfortunately don’t have the power to regulate it, but thankfully a future Labour government can and will.”
St Helens South MP Marie Rimmer supports the campaign to tackle the scandal. She says: “Almost 37 per cent of houses sold in my constituency were leasehold, many with extortionate fees and restrictive contract terms, with no way to easily challenge them. It is truly heartbreaking to see families put to the financial breaking point.
Labour will end ground rents for new leasehold homes, and cap ground rents for existing leaseholders at 0.1 per cent of the property value, up to a maximum of £250 a year.
Labour will crack down on unfair fees and contract terms by publishing a reference list of reasonable charges, requiring transparency on service charges and giving leaseholders a right to challenge rip-off fees and conditions or poor performance from service companies.
It will also improve and revitalise commonhold for flats, and make freehold mandatory for all new houses, as the Conservatives should have done years ago, helping millions of people across the UK.”