In 2018 Propertymark published a report titled Leasehold: A Life Sentence? Based on the findings of that report, we helped to drive legislative change that has so far culminated in the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022. Following this change Propertymark decided to investigate whether anything had changed in the world of leasehold.
We asked our members whether they have noticed any change since the implementation of the legislation and take a look at the alternatives to leasehold. On a positive note, consumer awareness around issues in leasehold has improved. Yet, perhaps because of this, our members report that leasehold property is harder to sell.
Members also told us of their concerns regarding the short period of many leases, the high cost of renewing a lease, difficulties obtaining information from management companies, and the need for more clarity on processes and rights for acquiring the freehold.
Not all estate agents will sell property on behalf of developers, but 54 per cent of those that do, reported in our survey that developers do not always provide the pertinent leasehold information to the agent.
Further investigation revealed that it is generally the small-scale developers who fail to have this information ready in time for marketing of the property. It appears, for these developers, leasehold particulars are placed toward the end of the to-do list. This causes obvious issues with consumer awareness – it is impossible to understand one’s obligations, if they are not provided in writing when necessary.
On the positive side, 74 per cent of agents responding to the survey reported that they regularly advertise the leasehold particulars when marketing a property for sale.