I am an owner-occupier leaseholder of what I thought was my own flat in London. However, I now stand to lose my flat which has been my home for the past forty-four years.
The implementation of parts of the law which protects leaseholders is conspicuous by its absence. Furthermore, there is a thriving business exploiting leaseholders – especially owner occupiers – to substantially benefit landlords, leasehold managers, their lawyers, property developers and possibly even some people employed by the justice system.
The specialist lower court First-tier Tribunal, which is supposed to be evidence-based and objective, falls short of these objectives. There is a growing concern about this even in Parliament, see recent discussion there on 24th July 2018:
In the not too distant future, there will be a Parliamentary inquiry into leasehold abuses.
However, in the meantime, I now stand to lose my home.
For the past ten years or so, subsequent managements of ‘my’ leasehold flat have been demanding large amounts of moneys, most of which seemed to have been spent on their professional and legal fees. At the same time, deteriorating conditions in my flat have been ignored.
I argued, in vain, for clarification of sums demanded. The matter came to the specialist lower court (First-tier Tribunal) which seemed to have been controlled by my landlords’ barrister. I tried to defend myself but the court took no notice. They did not look at my evidence and they did not allow my surveyor to present his evidence.
The disputed amount of £5000 (five thousand) was judged against me. However, my landlords’ legal team now demand £40000+ (forty thousand plus). Unless I pay all their growing demands, I may lose my home: within the existing leasehold laws, forfeiture (that is the loss of leasehold property without any compensation) can be implemented.
To get justice, I am planning to go to the higher specialist court (Upper Tribunal).
I estimate that I would need about £20000 (twenty-thousand) to do so.
My landlords and their legal team are teaching me (and any other owner-occupier leaseholder wishing to question charges) a cruel lesson: pay whatever we demand or lose your home.
I would like to fight back to save my home and to turn the trend of exploitation of leaseholders.
If at all possible, PLEASE SUPPORT.
If at all possible, PLEASE FORWARD and PUBLICISE ON SOCIAL MEDIA (such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Not being on any social media, I am unable to utilise it.
Donations would be refunded to donors or to their chosen charities in two-three years’ time (or, in unforeseen circumstances, on my death).
Agnes Kory, age 74
Music teacher and voluntary Holocaust researcher
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