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Sweeping reform of ‘unfair’ leasehold system to go ahead, says Minister

Following a five month consultation, public enthusiasm for leasehold reform has persuade Communities minister Sajid Javid to act.

Nigel Lewis

leasehold reformA promised leasehold reform programme is to go ahead following a consultation process that launched in July.

Communities minister Sajid Javid’s new measures to tackle unfair and abusive practices within the leasehold system will see almost all leaseholds banned for new-build houses – except when a property is in shared ownership – and that ground rents for new leases will have to be at zero for both apartments and houses.

Sajid (pictured, below) has also revealed that he is to make it much cheaper and easier for the UK’s 1.4 million leaseholders to buy-out their freehold.

“It’s unacceptable for home buyers to be exploited through unnecessary leaseholds, unjustifiable charges and onerous ground rent terms,” the minister says.

“It’s clear from the overwhelming response from the public that real action is needed to end these feudal practices.

“That’s why the measures this government is now putting in place will help create a system that actually works for consumers.”

Also, Sajid’s department is to work with the Law Commission to help leaseholders win redress for existing onerous terms and conditions within their leaseholder – which will hearten the many vendors and agents trying to sell properties crippled by such clauses.

Grant Lipton (pictured,right), co-founder at Great Marlborough Estates, says: “The new measures to cut out unfair and abusive practices within the leasehold system are long overdue.

“Leaseholds have their place in the market, but what doesn’t have a place is duping people and ripping them off. The proposed changes will curb landlords pushing tenants into unfair ground rents.

“Ultimately what we need is more transparency at every stage of the house buying process, where consumers are fully aware of their rights and their advisers fulfil their responsibilities.”

December 21, 2017

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