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Leasehold offender

Serial offender

When putting pen to paper to buy a new home, most people expect to know how much they will need to pay to own it outright. But thousands of families in England and Wales are discovering the new-build houses they bought are not all they seemed.

Katie Kendrick bought her new-build home from Bellway in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, three years ago for £214,000.

"It was supposed to be our forever home," she tells the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme, sitting in the living room of her four-bedroom house. "But it's the biggest mistake I've ever made."

Katie knew the house was leasehold - meaning she owned the property for the 150-year length of her lease agreement - but claims she was told by the sales representative that because of the long lease it was "as good as freehold"; a property owned outright.

She thought nothing of it, and says she was told she would be able to buy her freehold after two years, believing it would cost between £2,000 and £4,000.

But a year and a half later, she received a letter from Bellway saying her freehold had been sold to an investment company, which was now quoting £13,300 for her to buy it.

"At the moment I feel completely blind and in a corner and don't know which way to turn. There's legal action but that is very costly," she says.

Source: BBC News

[Read Full News on BBC News]

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