Jim Fitzpatrick MP calls for 'urgent' leasehold reform in Tower Hamlets
PUBLISHED: 10:10 06 December 2013 | UPDATED: 13:32 06 December 2013
Jim Fitzpatrick MP has opened fire on "rip-offs" faced by leaseholders in a call for reform of unfair charges and a confusing legal system.
The Poplar and Limehouse MP held a debate at Westminster Hall and argued that the current system favours property management companies.
Mr Fitzpatrick pointed to what he called “extortionate” service charges in Tower Hamlets and called on the government to speed up its reforms and make it easier for residents to challenge their property management companies over charges.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: “Urgent action is needed to level the playing field between leaseholders and property management companies.
“We’ve got a big problem here in London and Tower Hamlets with rip-off charges and underhand practices which are just plain wrong.
He added: “The government needs to rein in predatory property management companies with legislation that gives leaseholders a fair say and the ability to challenge any and all charges.”
New government legislation will make it easier for leaseholders to seek redress against the property management companies, which will have to sign up to a watchdog early next year.
Agents will be forced to tell leaseholders what their fees and charges are before the lease is signed.
During the debate, Mr Fitzpatrick welcomed the new redress scheme but called for more safeguards and greater transparency to help people to make claims against the companies.