Leasehold reform gathers pace as government proposes £10-a-year cap on ground rents

Dark clouds over houses

Source: Shutterstock/pcruciatti

Leasehold reform has cross-party support, but experts disagree over the exact form it should take.

The so-called ‘leasehold trap’ involved selling new homes to tenants as leasehold rather than freehold, making it as hard as possible for those tenants to buy the freehold and then forcing them to pay unduly high ground rents. Housebuyers across the UK were left with rents they could not afford to pay on properties they did not really own and could not really sell.

The government has been working to tackle the issue. A consultation response on leasehold reform was published in December last year; a select committee called for evidence from July to September this year; the Law Commission published a report in July and is calling for evidence until 20 November; and the second reading of the Leasehold Reform Bill is scheduled to take place in the House of Commons next Friday.

Yet, while everyone agrees that something needs to be done about the leasehold trap, some are worried that some of the changes that have been proposed might be a step too far.

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