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Support thread for Shared Ownership and Leaseholders

(1 Post)
Grumblestiltskin Tue 25-Sep-12 20:10:01

At the end of 2007 I was pregnant and living in rented accommodation with my partner and three year old son. We had to move out of the property as the house had to be rewired and refitted. We were heading towards the recession and other available two bedroom properties in the area cost a fortune. We heard about the shared ownership scheme and decided to take advantage of it.

When we moved in we were told that our services charge of £96 a month was high to cover emergencies but would settle and be cheaper in the subsequent years.

We are now paying £246 a month. This is on top of our rent which is £300, our mortgage and utility bills. Quite frankly, the fees are completely crippling us, financially.

I have tried everything, from hiring a solicitor to meetings with our housing association and the management company, I even sent a few letters to my local MP. It's a struggle to get them to cut the grass; let alone getting an essential lightbulb changed. We are effectively paying £246 into a bottomless pit where there is practically nothing to show for it.

We have tried selling but no one is interested in purchasing a property that has exorbitant service charges attached, and who can blame them?

If the fees go any higher we will face not being able to pay and could effectively lose our home. Our only option is to go to a leasehold valuation tribunal.

However, as the fees are so high we have no money to go to a tribunal. We have been advised that the cost of going to an LVT could be anything between three to seven thousand pounds. We are stuck. I know there must be many more people out there who are in a similar predicament.

Leaseholders (shared ownership owners) need more protection as, at the moment, the law is not adequate on protecting the leaseholders. All the laws that usually apply to renting or ownership do not apply and it's extremely hard to find a good solicitor who deals with shared ownership disputes.
Management companies can demand whatever fee they like and despite being required by law for the fees to be reasonable there is no protection unless you go to a tribunal.

I have created an e-petition and would really appreciate you signing it to show your support for our cause and for anyone else in this situation.

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