Government to ban leasehold for new houses

Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid has announced Government plans to restrict the use of leasehold in the development sector.

Mr Javid’s arguments, written in The Times last week:

We’re seeing more and more cases, particularly in the north of England, where developers are selling newly built houses on a leasehold basis for no good reason. Worse still, they are using the ground rent as an unjustifiable license to print money.

Every week seems to bring another horror story. There’s the £200,000 family home in Bolton that’s all but unsalable because the ground rent will increase by more than 3,000 per cent and hit almost £10,000 a year by 2060. There’s the homeowner in Cheshire who was told that buying out the lease on her new build would cost around £2,000 but has now been handed a bill for 20 times that. Yet with housing in short supply in some areas many feel they have no choice but to sign up for a leasehold if they want to own their own home.

A new Government consultation on leasehold reform has been launched and will run until 19th September. The reform is designed to tackle unfair and unreasonable abuses of leasehold, in particular the sale of new leasehold houses and onerous ground rents.

The consultation paper is available online: here

Author: Justin Wickersham

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