One of the things I really love about being out speaking to people across our towns and villages in Mid Bedfordshire, is seeing the joy of families who have just moved into a new home - whether they’re local and are looking for more space or have just moved into our wonderful area.

Sadly though, for too many this dream of owning a home has been quickly become a nightmare. Too often they are met with constant battles with management companies, freeholders, developers and the council over sky-high maintenance charges for poor service, and getting their new estates formally adopted by the council.

It’s heart-breaking to see the stress this is causing across our communities, with families struggling to pay extortionate service charges, or despairing as the public realm around the new home they take pride in falls into disrepair.

The simple reality is that while thousands of homes have been built in our area over recent years, the regulation for new developments lacks the means to respond to it. The laws around estate management and the adoption of roads on new-build estates, simply hasn’t kept pace with current practice. This has left many homeowners unable to rely on management companies to fulfil their duties leaving them caught in limbo during uncertain road adoption processes that can take years. This cannot be allowed to continue.

The Comet: Alistair Strathern

This month I’ve launched my campaign to take on rogue management companies. I’m looking for stories from people across out towns and villages about challenges you’ve been having with management companies, freeholders or estate adoption. If you’d like to share a story, please get in touch with my team at

Its clear from the conversations I’ve already had that these issues have been allowed to drag on for too long, and I’ll be taking these up with the relevant groups locally to demand answers.

But to properly solve this issue once and for all, we need national action.

That’s why in Parliament I’ve spoken up in support of Labour’s plan to finally get a grip on this, by abolishing unfair leaseholds and ensuring proper regulation of managing agents. I’m encouraged by how seriously Labour has taken what we’ve uncovered locally, with experiences raised on the doorstep here already informing our plan for government.

But people shouldn’t have to wait for Rishi Sunak to finally call a general election to see change.

So in the meantime, I’ve joined the bill committee to scrutinise the government’s own plan. Though their Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill does includes some welcome changes, it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough to tackle the sheer range of challenges people are facing. When these issues were raised, Ministers suggested a willingness to work on a cross-party basis to improve the bill, and I intend to work with them to do exactly that.

For far too long we’ve left new homeowners exposed to exploitation. Its time to end these issues once and for all.