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Housing and Homes

Part of Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:19 pm on 15th May 2018.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Labour, Garston and Halewood 5:19 pm, 15th May 2018

I welcome that fact, but what tends to happen is that companies add an extra £5,600 or so on to the initial purchase price and then put restrictive covenants into the transfer document.

I have constituents who have been told that into the far future, even when they are freeholders, they will have to pay to get permission to change their mortgage provider, paint their door a different colour or make any alteration to their garden or property. That is not a proper freehold; it is finding a way to make sure that restrictive covenants can carry on, be sold on and then used financially to exploit people who have such restrictions in their deeds—whether in a lease or in a transfer document when the freehold is transferred.

I want the Government to go further than they have so far said they will go and consider banning some of these ridiculous restrictive covenants from being put into transfer documents as well as into leases. If they were to do that, I might be able to welcome their package of measures rather more than I have been able to so far.