The government are calling a halt to builders selling new houses as leasehold properties. They have also announced that ground rents for flats and apartments could be cut to zero.
This follows developments over recent years where some freeholders have been taking unfair advantage of house-buyers who have bought a leasehold property, demanding huge fees for permission to build an extension as just one example.
The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, says that his department is moving to close a loophole in the law.
‘It’s clear that far too many new houses are being built and sold as leaseholds, exploiting home buyers with unfair agreements and spiralling ground rents. Enough is enough.’
Rebecca Robinson is the head of our Residential Property Team.
‘This is good news,’ says Rebecca, ‘It is also a fact that the legal fees for transferring a leasehold property on sale are higher than a freehold property due to all the extra work involved. Within our sector, the general consensus is that selling a leasehold property takes about 2/3 weeks longer simply because of the complications with leaseholds.’
However, the government has not yet implemented the plan which is about to go through a consultation process. Rebecca Robinson also has a further concern.
‘A future ban is good,’ says Rebecca. ‘But action also needs to be taken to protect those who are already owners of a leasehold house. What happens to them?’
Government figures estimate that nationally there are currently 1.2 million leasehold houses in the private sector.
If you have any concerns over Leasehold houses then contact Rebecca Robinson on 01761 414646 or firstname.lastname@example.org