Advice on hand for leaseholders in Cramlington

Free advice on property leaseholds is being offered to Cramlington residents.

By David Sedgwick
Monday, 10th June 2019, 9:00 am
Estate agent and leasehold campaigner Paul Reynolds.
Estate agent and leasehold campaigner Paul Reynolds.

A two-day Leasehold Roadshow will be held at Cramlington Village Club on June 25 and 26.

Experts will be on hand to answer questions.

A similar event in October, also organised by the Cramlington Development Trust, was attended by more than 400 people.

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Local estate agent and trust member Paul Reynolds said: “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.”

An increasing number of Cramlington residents are discovering they face bills of thousands of pounds if they want to move or even remortgage their homes as their properties came with 99-year leases when they were built in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Mr Reynolds, who owns the Renown estate agency, 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, which could cost up to £13,000 for a resident of a house and around £20,000 for somebody living in a flat.

Updates on leasehold reform will be provided at the roadshows.

On June 25, the focus will be flats, while the following day it will be for leasehold houses. Both events at the venue in Park View start at 2pm.

To find out more and book an advice session, contact Paul Reynolds via [email protected] or on 01670 730073.

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 charge whatever they want.

Paul said: “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.

“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.”