By A Correspondent| A few months back, ZimEye caught the ire of land development company, West Properties’ after exposing an archaic and risky home ownership concept which the company offered at one of its housing sites.
The company went ballistic accusing ZimEye and another online news site Pindula of reporting falsehoods while insisting that celebrities Kudzai Violet Gwara better known as KVG and lanky crooner Jah Prayzah would get their title deeds “in due time.”
Now, West Properties has announced that its Pomona City will be sold using the leasehold concept.
“Pomona City, which has been fittingly described as a city within a city has adopted the leasehold option of land ownership as part of efforts to enable the middle income class to access luxury upmarket housing at affordable prices.
“The leasehold option affords an individual an opportunity to obtain land to build on and construct their dream home without a large capital outlay on the cost of the land. As a result, savings of 90 percent are realised,” said West Properties in an article published in the Daily News.
Leasehold concept has been heavily criticised as an outdated method of home ownership as it does not offer title deeds to an acquired property.
A United Kingdom based property expert, Dr Controlla Gabi criticized West Properties of using a leasehold instead of the modern freehold arrangement.
Gabi said leaseholds were an eternal death trap as a home owner will continue to pay rent on the land their house is built on.
He added that ultimately the price of lease may end up being unaffordable which may mean the household has a high chance of losing the property.
“Leaseholds are an eternal debt trap. Home owners will continue to pay rent on the land their house is built on. It’s been a controversial scheme here in the UK.
“With a leasehold, you’ll always pay rent on the land on which your home is built. There must be an option to buy the land or just rent to buy the land which should give ownership of the land at some point. With no legal protection, land rent will go up or change hands. Uncertainty
“Although unlikely, it is possible that, in a leasehold agreement, the price of the lease may end up being unaffordable. It’s unclear what will happen in such circumstances,” said Gabi.
It has also emerged that Pomona City is disputed land and recently two white people Grant Russell and Mark Sthrathen who are directors of T&C Construction were arrested and charged with criminal nuisance after they erected a billboard along Borrowdale road warning potential home-seekers that the land in question was a subject of court litigation.