Leaseholds axed for all new houses

All new build homes will be sold as freehold, the Government has announced as part of its plans to tackle unfair leasehold practices in the residential property market. The move is aimed at preventing unfair leasehold practices where home owners are trapped in exploitative arrangements and pernicious ground rents on new leases will be reduced to zero, preventing leaseholders being charged soaring fees for which they receive no benefit. Secretary of State for Housing, James Brokenshire, also announced immediate action to ban Help to Buy being used to support leasehold houses, thus stopping taxpayers’ money being used to fund unjustified sale of leasehold houses. In a wide ranging speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Manchester, Brokenshire also said that freeholders and managing agents will be required to provide leaseholders with the vital information they need to sell their home within 15 working days and will not be able to charge a fee of more than £200. He explained that he has instructed Homes England to renegotiate Help to Buy contracts to explicitly rule out the selling of new leasehold houses, other than in exceptional circumstances, to protect new home buyers from unscrupulous charges.

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