Flat owners are left to suffer in silence over leaseholds while house owners in the same position can powerfully campaign, it has been claimed.
Leasehold Knowledge Partnership trustee Sebastian O’Kelly told the All Party Parliamentary Group on leasehold reform that the current focus on the plight of homeowners highlighted how the “exploitation of flat owners” was often below the radar of public opinion.
And he claimed that owners of flats had been threatened by freeholders with defamation proceedings if they brought their issues to public attention.
The meeting – which had to be rescheduled to April 19 following the Westminster attack on March 22 – saw owners of leasehold houses in the North West travel to air their views.
Mr O’Kelly explained that flat owners were left unable to highlight leasehold disputes because it risked publicly running down the block.
“Some people – those having to sell – won’t appreciate this. Leasehold house owners are in a different position. If they want to demonstrate in Ellesmere Port or wherever, they can do so. They are answerable only to themselves.”