Conveyancers have blasted claims from the HomeOwners Alliance that leaseholders aren’t the legal owners of their own property.
The Conveyancing Association has criticised a report from the campaign group on leasehold, released earlier this week, that claimed leaseholders were “little more than tenants in the eyes of the law”.
The HomeOwners Alliance was accused of scaremongering.
Beth Rudolph, director of delivery at the CA, said: “While we congratulate the HomeOwners Alliance on its leasehold report, we would not want to see unnecessary concern amongst leaseholders that they do not own their property in ‘the eyes of the law’ as the report suggests.
“This is clearly not correct and leaseholders should know they have complete security so long as they comply with the terms of the lease. Plus, it should also be clear that there are mechanisms enabling them to extend their lease when required, albeit at extra cost.
“We are concerned that the implication that leaseholders are not legal owners could be considered scaremongering, which we do not support in any way.
“However, we can see that this approach has brought the report to the attention of the mainstream media and the more people who are aware of the importance of obtaining all necessary information prior to buying a leasehold property, the better educated home buyers will be.”
That is not the only error the HomeOwners Alliance has made this week.
The organisation sent out a statement yesterday morning to coincide with the launch of a new savings product called a Lifetime Isa (Lisa). This lets first-time buyers save for a mortgage deposit tax-free, similar to the Help to Buy Isa.
Chief executive Paula Higgins was initially quoted as saying the Lisa was welcome but claimed there was a problem as the money saved could only be used at completion.
The group had to reissue a different statement after EYE pointed out that this is a concern with the Help to Buy Isa, but the Government has stipulated that the Lisa funds can be used for the deposit at the exchange state of the transaction.
A later statement by the HomeOwners Alliance reflected this, and hopefully enough reporters took notice.