It's been five years since Propertymark started campaigning for leasehold reform and our latest report: Leasehold 2023: Has Anything Changed? shows that our members are still concerned and experiencing difficulties with a number of facets relating to leasehold law.
Following our 2018 report Leasehold: A Life Sentence, where we identified thousands of homeowners were stuck in leasehold houses they cannot afford to live in and cannot sell, our continued lobbying to drive legislative change was instrumental in The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 coming into place.
However, this only related to new leases and didn’t address existing homeowners who have a property with escalating ground rent. 78% of our agents stated will struggle to sell these properties, even if priced correctly. This highlights the importance that further legislation is required.
Propertymark agents saw a 72% increase in homebuyers’ awareness of the issues surrounding leasehold property than five years ago and now ask for leasehold particulars before they view the property.
67% have been encouraged to negotiate harder on leasehold property, which suggests issues surrounding leasehold are artificially restricting prices of these properties, and as a result, future change in legislation would ease such issues to see a rise in the value.
92% of letting agents who responded to our survey reported managing leasehold property. 44% of those reported they sometimes struggle with the freeholder’s managing agent. Further commentary suggested that this is primarily based on communication delays.
However, many leaseholders continue to face issues buying and selling within buildings over 11m tall. Barriers and solutions to the issues consumers face in obtaining a mortgage on leasehold property are affected by the Building Safety regulations, with 51% of potential buyers asking about cladding before they view. Alarmingly though, 11% asked after they agreed to purchase and 16% asked when the bank queries the situation as part of the buying process.
As the legislation is relatively new, it is clear that more needs to be done to raise awareness.
74% of member agents reported they regularly advertise the leasehold particulars when marketing a property for sale.
Propertymark’s updated Property Information Questionnaire dives deeply into leasehold property so buyers and fully aware and this can also speed up the buying process at the conveyancing stage.