United Kingdom | The tenancy system, the ‘feudal’ system under which millions of people in England do not own the land on which their homes stand | Wells | world

The main concerns when buying a home in most countries of the world are to collect enough money and get the perfect home, but in England And wales there is one more: Is it real estate in freehold also hired official?

house owner freehold is his absolute ownereven the land on which it was built, as it happens in other nations.

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But who buys a house in England and Wales under the scheme hired officialAnd Real estate is acquired by renting for a specified period of time, Several decades in general, and you do not become the owner of the land on which it is located.

You generally must ask the landowner for permission to carry out any redevelopment work and to pay an annual rent for the land, known as the Land rent.

In many cases, this rent is symbolic: a “peppercorn”, a metaphor used in English law to refer to a very small cash payment.

But in other cases it becomes very expensive The owners end up selling their homes Because they can’t keep paying it.

it is expected that 20% of real estate in England subject to the system hired officialMost of them are apartments.

Most of the apartments sold for rent are in cities.

Long list of problems

If you have a file freehold You possess what is under the earth and all that is above in the air, while hired official It was set up so that two or more people could own different properties, one on top of the other, lawyer Saul Gerand, an expert in property valuation and title extensions, told BBC Mundo.hired official.

Karolina Zoltanica, co-founder of Commonhold Now, an organization campaigning to end the system hired officialguarantee it “has a lot of flaws”.

“It’s created systemic power mismatches that don’t benefit buyers,” says Zoltanica. “It’s something that has no place in modern society.”

“Excessive feudal rents, very exorbitant maintenance charges, mismanagement of buildings that often endanger the safety of their owners, and properties that are greatly deteriorating because time is already running out.” hired official. The list of problems associated with the system is very long,” he added.

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medieval system

It is a system that has its origins in the Middle Ages.

“It is a medieval feudal system. In its origins, there was a count who owned land and leased it to someone, generally a farmer or farmer, who lived there and paid rent with part of what he produced on said land or through some service,” explains Girand.

The system remained that way for centuries, until debate began in the nineteenth century over the injustices it created.

Starting in the 1920s, various laws were introduced for Limiting the rents that landowners can charge and restrict your right to evict tenants.

Many of these landlords have begun selling long-term leases (usually 99 to 125 years) of their homes and apartments without losing ownership of their land. This was the beginning of the modern system of hired official currently located.

the tenants It was originally sold with the understanding that eventually, when the lease expired, the land and house would revert to the original owner.

However, at the beginning of the 1960s, there were changes to the law after the long-term elderly tenants, who had little knowledge of legal procedures, They were threatened with eviction when their leases expire.

The current legislation allows, among other things, that the owners of houses (since 1967) and apartments (since 1993) are subject to a hired officialThey can extend their leases for an additional 90 years.

Lack of transparency

Joe Douglas. (BBC World).

Despite this, many apartment owners have lease agreementshired official they complain about obscene To repair and maintain the common spaces of the buildings in which they live and who must face disproportionate increases in the rent of the land on which their homes are situated.

Joe Douglas can still vividly remember the feeling of happiness he felt in 2015 when he bought his flat in a new building in north London.

He also remembers how this happiness quickly turned into anxiety and ended in a nightmare.

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After selling all the apartments, the developer sold the land and building to an investment fund, causing Joe’s house to immediately drop in value.

Now you have to pay more 5000 USD per year To keep an apartment that he is supposed to own.

“I feel betrayed,” the youngster told BBC Mundo. “I moved into my wife’s house two years ago, so I don’t live there anymore.”

Joe pays about $2,900 a year in community fees to maintain the building and must also pay insurance fees to cover any possible damage to the building that costs him nearly $2,300 a year.

“He is a lot of money. In the case of insurance, the landlords send me the bill without any kind of transparency. They don’t tell me if it’s a competitive rate or how much money they make on commission. “They don’t tell me anything,” Joe explains.

“There are other buildings in the same area that are paying less than half than we pay for the same type of insurance.

What no one tells you when buying property under a contract hired official It’s about you becoming a prisoner of the system, you don’t have any kind of rights, and you don’t know whether to enrich someone who takes advantage of your situation,” adds the young man.

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Limited time holders

Currently, when selling a property for the first time in hired official The lease is granted for a fixed period of time, usually between 99 and 125 years, but can sometimes be as long as 999 years.

Lease holders can extend the contract or purchase their homes outright, but it’s a process that can also be Very complex and expensive.

If they do not extend the lease, the landlord loses his house, and it reverts to the landowner.

In recent years, England’s leading home builders have sold off real estate hired official in which The land rent doubles Every 10 to 25 years.

In June 2022, the UK government passed a law that anyone who buys a home under a new lease hired official A person who still has a minimum of 21 years remaining will be exempt from paying this annual rent for the land.

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However, this doesn’t apply to homes purchased before that date: Millions across the country that have become a liability to buyers, and like Joe’s, can be extremely difficult to sell.

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For years, like organizations Commonhold now The authorities encouraged the abolition of the regime hired official.

British Home Secretary Michael Gove had criticized it on several occasions, describing it as “unfair and outdated”.

In January this year, it said it would make good on a promise to scrap it, but in early May it was revealed that the government’s plans to reform the system, due to be published later this year, would not set a date for the system’s end. . tenants.

Karolina Zoltanica, of the organization “The government has reversed its decision to cancel it.” Commonhold now.

“Now they say they will reduce the number tenants to a minimum. The Minister for Housing has always been against the system, so we at Commonhold Now believe this is an order of the central government, who feel the system does not need to be abolished entirely.”

Expert Saul Gerand confirms that the plans to cancel hired official“altruistic” but you’re not sure if it’s realistic.

The alternative is to create a system.Commonwealth, where everyone in the building owns the land. It sounds great, but in reality under a system like this, maintaining and making decisions about the building becomes very complicated because the more owners there are, the more difficult it is to make decisions,” he adds.

“Sometimes, you just need someone to stand up and say, I own it and this is my decision.”

Meanwhile, Joe says that if the government does not act, he will still feel like “just another prisoner of the system.”

“I feel like my prison has become a money-making machine for other people and the worst thing is that the only thing I did to end up in this situation was to buy an apartment.”

Sacha Woodward

"Wannabe writer. Lifelong problem solver. Gamer. Incurable web guru. Professional music lover."

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