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Leashehold inconsistencies cost homebuyers £000s

Written by: Paula John
Discrepancies in the charges levied by owners of leasehold properties mean buyers of flats in particular can be overcharged by more than

Myhomemove, the UK’s largest provider of mover conveyancing services, is calling for greater consistency and clarity from management companies and landlords, in relation to the charges they levy at clients who are buying a leasehold property.

In 2013, myhomemove managed 8246 leasehold transactions, 24% of which were for first-time buyers. Analysing this data has revealed that there are vast discrepancies between the amounts charged by management companies and landlords for services including Notice of Transfer, Notice of Charge, Deed of Covenant, Stock Transfer and Application – currently leasehold clients can be charged anywhere from 10p to over £1000.

Commenting on these findings, Doug Crawford, CEO of myhomemove said:

“In this day and age it seems incredible that there is no industry standard for management companies and landlords, meaning they have carte blanche to charge leasehold homebuyers whatever they want. Over a third of our leasehold clients are charged between £100 and £200 by landlords and management companies; while the really unfortunate ones must pay between £500 and £1000. These fees are in addition to their moving costs, ground rent and insurance.”

Last year the number of first time buyers rocketed by 37%, while the number of buy-to-let investors also increased by 19%; with a large proportion investing in leasehold properties such as flats and apartments, especially in boom areas such as London and the South East.

Crawford added:

“We appreciate that services cost money, but when a client is left baffled as to the amount they must pay and why, it seems very unfair; especially as they can not purchase the property without paying these charges and they have no way of ‘shopping around’ for a better deal.”

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