MP calls for protection of leasehold homeowners
Managing Agents of leasehold homeowners should be regulated
In a question to the Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government, MP for North East Derbyshire, Natascha Engel asked what the Government was doing to safeguard leasehold homeowners from being exploited by managing agents.
Natascha Engel raised the case of two of her constituents who, along with other elderly residents, had received a demand for almost £200 from their managing agent despite having paid their annual management fees.
At present managing agents of leasehold properties are not regulated by the Financial Services Authority or any other watchdog and yet this business involves the safeguarding and spending of millions of pounds every year.
Commenting following her question to the Secretary of State, Natascha said:
“It is appalling that in the 21st century leasehold homeowners have no recourse against managing agents who at any time can demand more money. Making a complaint is far from easy and so it is time the Government brought these agents under the regulation of the Financial Services Authority or some other Watchdog. My constituents told me of the distress that many of their neighbours faced when they received a demand for more money. Many of the people affected are elderly who live in specialist retirement homes and their distress comes at a time when they should be enjoying retirement and not worrying if another demand will fall through the letterbox.”
Hansard link to Parliamentary Questions: House of Commons Hansard Debates for 04 Feb 2013 (pt 0001)
T9.  Natascha Engel (North East Derbyshire) (Lab): Two elderly constituents who live in a retirement complex recently received a bill for £200 from their managing agent completely out of the blue. Managing agents of leasehold housing are completely unregulated, so those elderly constituents have nowhere to turn either to appeal or to demand a review. What steps is the Minister taking to ensure that managing agents of leasehold housing are brought under the regulation of the Financial Services Authority?
Mr Foster: I am grateful to the hon. Lady for raising an important issue. Many Members of all parties are concerned about managing and letting agents. As she will know, a detailed investigation is being carried out, and as I have said before from the Dispatch Box, the Government are listening. After we have seen that report, we will bring forward recommendations.