Leasehold could be outlawed after next election

Developers would be banned from selling the freeholds of homes to private companies following a groundswell of anger from homeowners who have been left facing rocketing ground rents. Some have seen freehold fees double every decade,which has also made their properties almost impossible to sell on.  
 
A report by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) revealed that one in five private homes in England – a total of four million – are leasehold. While 2.8m are flats, which have traditionally been leasehold, there are now 1.2m houses that have leases, including 167,000 detached homes.
 
A DCLG spokesman said: “It’s unacceptable that homebuyers are being exploited with unfair charges and unfavourable ground rent agreements. We will take action to tackle all unfair and unreasonable abuses of leasehold.”
 
The reforming of the All Party Parliamentary Group on leasehold and regular round table discussions organised by the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership shows there has been a change in mood in parliament. 
 
Government officials are said to be looking at ending the use of leasehold for new developments of houses as well as setting a minimum lease length for new flats, “offering leaseholders greater security and saving them money over the long term”.
 
Ministers are considering banningdevelopers from selling leasehold houses on land they own, meaning buyers will be handed the freehold and own the property outright. 
Paula Higgins, of the HomeOwners Alliance campaign group, said:  “Leasehold is a ticking time bomb and millions of householders are in a precarious position.” 

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