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New-build homes to be sold as freehold as 'unfair' leasehold practices are outlawed

Most new-build houses will now be sold as freehold as the Government moves to outlaw “unscrupulous” practices in the leasehold sector. Meanwhile, ground rents will be capped at the nominal sum of £10 a year.

A consultation on the proposals has now been launched by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire.

There are 4.2 million leasehold properties in England with most of them flats or apartments. However, a recent practice by developers has seen them selling new-build houses as leasehold. Often the leases are sold on to property management companies who can increase the ground rent and management fees leaseholders have to pay.

More support for homeowners

The other proposals include making it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy out their lease and offering increased support to leaseholders who want to form a tenant association to enforce their collective legal rights.

Mr Brokenshire said: “The government is committed to making the economy work for everyone by helping people with the cost of living.

“Unfair ground rents can turn a homeowner’s dream into a nightmare by hitting them in the back pocket and making their property harder to sell.

“That’s why I’m taking concrete action to protect homeowners and end those unscrupulous leasehold practices that can cost tenants hundreds of pounds.”

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