Tenants warned about home purchase companies' needless charges
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Finance
Standard housing pictureImage: Housing via Shutterstock
Chorley Community Housing (CCH) has warned tenants thinking of buying their own home to be wary of being ‘door stepped’ by companies that charge for helping them through the purchase process when the service is available for free.
Many of CCH tenants are able to buy their home through either the right to acquire or preserved right to buy schemes. However, some do not receive impartial advice when they ask private companies and individuals for help in buying their homes and the housing association is calling on tenants to be wary of companies that come cold calling.
Claire Essame, CCH leasehold officer, said: "In the past, we have become particularly concerned about the methods of some private companies offering assistance to tenants.
"Since the maximum discounts available were raised in April 2012 we have seen an increase in activity from these companies. Tenants are normally contacted in person by door-to-door representatives offering to help them buy their home. They may offer a mortgage, legal services or an 'all-in' package that may include improvements to your home after you buy. Sometimes, tenants are asked to pay a lot of money for things that landlords will do for free."
CCH say that one example of this is companies charging for application forms that the 13,000-home provider can supply free of charge.
Chorley's director of operations, Richard Houghton, added: "Tenants can of course deal with any company they wish, but we have received complaints about some of these companies and we feel it is important tenants are aware of this. Through our leasehold team we can provide free advice on any aspect of the preserved right to buy or right to acquire schemes. Advice on how the schemes work generally is also available on the Gov.uk website."
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