Free leasehold advice available for Cramlington residents
Free advice will be available next month for Cramlington residents who are concerned or confused about the leaseholds on their homes.
A two-day Leasehold Roadshow will be held at the Cramlington Village Club on 25 and 26 June where experts will be at hand to answer questions.
A similar event in October – also organised by the Cramlington Development Trust – was attended by more than 400 people. “I think it was very helpful, but unfortunately this is an issue which affects thousands of people in the town and it’s not going away,” said estate agent and Trust member Paul Reynolds.
An increasing number of Cramlington residents are discovering that they face bills of thousands of pounds if they want to move or even re-mortgage their homes.
They live in houses and flats which came with 99 year leases when they were built in the 1960s, 70s and 80s as Cramlington was developed into a new town.
Mr Reynolds said that with less than 70 years left on many leases, mortgage providers are refusing to lend money unless the freehold is bought or leases extended. That could cost up to £13,000 for a resident of a house and even more – around £20,000 – for somebody living in a flat.
Living in a leasehold property means you own the right to live in the building, but not the bricks or the ground it sits on. Freeholds, initially owned by developers, have been bought by investors who can in reality charge whatever they want.
“Having a flat causes particular problems because you have to get more than half of the residents to agree to buy the freehold. That’s why we’re running the roadshow over two days – one to focus on houses and the second on flats,” he said.
“It looks like the government, after much consultation, is going to make changes. It will be a step in the right direction, but it’s unlikely to end the concerns that many Cramlington residents have right now,” added Mr Reynolds, who owns the Renown estate agency.
Updates on leasehold reform will be provided at the roadshows. They take place on 25 June – when the focus will be flats – and 26 June for leasehold houses. Both events start at 2pm.
To find out more and book and advice session, contact Paul Reynolds via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01670 730073.