Families sold leasehold homes weren’t told by their lawyer what they were buying, report claims

Nearly one in four families sold controversial leasehold homes were not even told by their lawyer what they were buying, according to a damning report.

It accuses conveyancing solicitors of breaching their duty to thousands of clients by failing to explain contracts to them properly before asking for a signature. 

This included not explaining the crucial difference between freehold and leasehold properties.

The leasehold scandal has left up to 100,000 families trapped in unsellable homes because of crippling ground rents and high fees [File photo]

The leasehold scandal has left up to 100,000 families trapped in unsellable homes because of crippling ground rents and high fees [File photo]

The leasehold scandal has left up to 100,000 families trapped in unsellable homes because of crippling ground rents and high fees [File photo]

Freehold homes are owned by the buyer outright, whereas leases only give them a right to live in a property for an agreed period.

These leases typically involve the buyer paying the freeholder a ground rent that can in some cases double every decade. 

But 23 per cent of conveyancing solicitors admitted they had failed to spell out this difference to clients who bought leasehold homes, says the report by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

It said firms made the ‘dangerous assumption’ that families already knew what they were buying. 

The leasehold scandal has left up to 100,000 families trapped in unsellable homes because of crippling ground rents and high fees.

The report accuses conveyancing solicitors of breaching their duty to thousands of clients by failing to explain contracts to them properly before asking for a signature

The report accuses conveyancing solicitors of breaching their duty to thousands of clients by failing to explain contracts to them properly before asking for a signature

The report accuses conveyancing solicitors of breaching their duty to thousands of clients by failing to explain contracts to them properly before asking for a signature

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