Pressure is increasing on agents and portals to ensure leasehold terms are spelled out in all property listings, amid concerns that there will be a government crackdown on mis-selling.
IT professional and blogger Peter Ellis Jones analysed 1,041 recent listings of new-build properties in London on Rightmove.
He found that most – over 80% – did not show the years remaining on the lease, the service charge or the ground rent.
He highlighted that this is against the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 which require agents and developers to disclose any material information that could “impact on the average consumer’s transactional decision”.
The Property Ombudsman’s Code of Practice also says material information when it comes to leaseholds must be disclosed.
Ellis Jones said: “Estate agents will argue that buyers should do their own due diligence when buying leaseholds, but it is naive to expect buyers – especially if it’s their first time – to be aware of all the obligations they are taking on when signing a leasehold.”
He told EYE: “Rightmove really needs to step up and do a better job here. As a monopoly with a huge chunk of the market it is in a unique position to demand that buyers be treated more fairly.”
Rightmove has said it provides an option for agents to enter tenure terms on listings, but leasehold campaigners have called for inclusion of these details to be mandatory.
The portal also said it has added more information about the differences between buying a leasehold and freehold property to help prospective buyers.
However, while there are 13 articles on the Rightmove blog related to leasehold, the most recent is last April about what buyers need to know about owning a leasehold.
A Rightmove spokesperson confirmed this is its latest leasehold guide but said another was being worked on that looked at extending leases for flats.