28 JUL 2017

MP WELCOMES PLANS TO TACKLE UNFAIR LEASEHOLD TERMS

Caroline Dinenage MP has welcomed Government plans to tackle unfair leasehold terms.

Leasehold has long been a feature of England's housing market, and is generally used in properties such as flats. In this context, the arrangement makes sense. However, in recent years an increasing number of newly built, standalone houses are being sold on leasehold terms for no good reason, beyond creating a convenient revenue stream for developers. They provide little in the way of benefits for consumers, and can render homes unsellable thanks to unfair leasehold terms. There are currently 1.2 million leasehold houses recorded in England.

Measures set out in a newly published Government consultation will limit the sale of new-build leasehold houses to exceptional circumstances, discourage developers from selling properties on leasehold terms and increase the rights of leaseholders to challenge unreasonable service charges. The consultation also looks at limiting ground rents in new leases to a nominal level, and asks how the Government can respond to the challenges faced by existing leaseholders.

Responses to the consultation can be submitted here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/tackling-unfair-practices-in-the-leasehold-market

Commenting, Caroline said: 'I'm really pleased that these unfair, exploitative practices are being addressed, demonstrating the Government's commitment to ensuring that the housing market really works for everyone. As things stand, thousands of leaseholders are trapped by clauses with spiralling ground rents, and are being charged a small fortune to ask freeholders for permission to carry out even minor modifications to their properties. This clearly isn't right, and I welcome the Government's plans, which will help to ensure that all homebuyers are able to buy their home in a fair and transparent manner.'

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