No More ‘Feudal’ Leasehold – New Houses Must Be Freehold

Many residents in Lytham St. Anne’s know well the financial impact of increases in ground rents as a substantial number homes in our area are ‘leasehold’. Additionally, as well as ground rent, those living in flats are also hit by soaring service charges.

However, there was some good news today (Sunday 29th October) as Government housing minister Rachel Maclean confirmed there would be new leasehold legislation in the King’s Speech on 7th November. She said that all new houses in England and Wales will have to be sold as freehold, under government reforms to end the leasehold system. Locally and nationally, many house leaseholders have complained about being trapped by soaring ground rents, whilst those in flats have protested against ever increasing service charges as well as ground rents.

MP Rachel Maclean posted on X, formerly known as Twitter,  ‘Plans to phase out leasehold and restore true home ownership confirmed today as part of the King’s Speech. We will restore true home ownership to millions of people and end the reign of rip off freeholders + incompetent profiteering management companies.’

All new houses must be sold with the land they are built on, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as new flats can still be sold as leasehold properties, which means that buyers own the property for a set period, typically over 100 years, but not the land underneath.

This legislation is linked to a Tory manifesto commitment from the 2019 general election to implement a ban on the sale of new leasehold homes, as well as take action on restricting ground rents to a ‘peppercorn’ rate. Earlier this year Government minister Michael Gove said he was committed abolishing the ‘outdated, feudal’ leasehold system by the next general election.

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