During the meeting Faisal raised concerns about the problems many local people experience due to unfair leasehold and management agreementsLabour has been pressing for the Government to tackle the issue for two years and highlighting where the Government is falling short. Whilst the Government’s National Leasehold Consultation has offered some solutions, these are not enforceable and as a result many developers are continuing to go ahead with new build leaseholds.
Faisal also spoke to the Shadow Minister about problems facing Warrington South residents who claim benefits and seek rented accommodation. Currently, private landlords are discouraged from letting to benefit recipients due to problems with Universal Credit and cuts to Local Housing Allowance, which are resulting in claimants being considered an unreliable source of money.
Faisal Rashid MP said:
“My meeting with the Shadow Housing Minister, John Healey, was very productive. He took on board all the concerns I raised on behalf of my constituents, which he shared. He has pledged to highlight these issues in Westminster.
“Locally, the leasehold scandal continues to affect many people. Disgracefully, the Conservative Government has known about and ignored this scandal for a long time, allowing homeowners to be ripped off under costly leasehold agreements. To try to tackle this issue one of the suggestions made was that there may be a way for a council’s planning policy to restrict future developments with leasehold properties. I will be writing to Councillor O’ Neill to explore this further to see whether it is a policy that could be introduced locally.
“During the meeting I also made it clear that I want to see action taken to help new and existing new build home-owners who are being entered into property management agreements often without their knowledge until it is too late and are then committed to paying management fees.
“Labour has led the calls for action to tackle the leasehold scandal and in Government we will put an end to these deeply unfair practices.
“We also talked in depth about the barriers that exist to people on benefits who are looking to find a privately rented home. One of the big issues for people living on benefits is the fact that housing benefits are not linked to housing costs. During the meeting the Shadow Minister made it clear that the best way to deal with this issue, and what Labour plans to do in government, is to fix the problems with the benefit system to encourage landlords to let to them.
“Labour understands how these issues are affecting people every day and unlike the current Conservative Government we will take the swift action required to help those people affected.
“I am pleased I had the opportunity to raise concerns with the Shadow Housing Minister, and I will be asking the Government several questions on behalf of my constituents this week.”
Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey MP said:
“Faisal is doing a great job standing up for people in Warrington South on housing, from fighting rip-off costs for leaseholders to campaigning for more help for private renters.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Faisal to hold the Conservatives to account for their record on housing nationally and in Warrington.”