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Infographic: How to make a killing on a leasehold

On 20th January 2017 the Financial Times reported that the average Londoner selling a home during 2016 had doubled their money. Inspired, in DG #26 our fraudulent friend Evil Stick Man dabbled in some property-based impropriety…


1. Build leasehold houses in an up-and-coming area. Sell them on 999-year leases with a clause specifying a ground rent of £295 a year, doubling every ten years.


2. Advertise your properties emphasising “home ownership”, “fairness” and “social responsibility”. Claim they are “virtually freehold” and sell them to first-time buyers.


3. Introduce solicitors who won’t tell buyers they may need to pay 999 years of ground rent to buy their new home’s freehold and are liable for any service charges introduced.


4. Introduce service charges for repainting the house, reseeding the grass and replacing the garden fence with a massive stack of gnomes.


5. Make additional “improvements” every six months. Double the service charges. Blame Brexit.


6. Double them again. Blame an aggressive tweet by Donald Trump.


7. Introduce other income streams, like the need to pay for permission to build a conservatory. Or keep a pet. Or park a van on the drive.


8. Once the leaseholders default on their service charges, foreclose on their lease. Reclaim the property, resell it and repeat steps 2 to 8.


9. You are now rich. Buy President Trump’s Palm Beach estate and have it moved brick by brick to the British seaside.


We’ve pulled together Evil Stick Man’s adventures in our first ever book, How to be evil. You can buy it for £10 including shipping in our online shop.

Words: Sebastian O’Kelly and Marcus Webb | Illustration: Christian Tate


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