Sajid Javid

Government cracks down on unfair leasehold practices

The government has announced radical new proposals to cut out unfair abuses of leasehold.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid (pictured above) has set out plans to ban new-build houses from being sold as leasehold as well as restricting ground rents to as low as zero.

The government will now hold an eight-week consultation on the measures, which include:

  • setting ground rents to zero levels
  • closing legal loopholes to protect consumers
  • changing the rules on Help to Buy equity loans.

Leaseholds generally apply to flats with shared spaces, however, the government has found that developers have been increasingly selling houses on these terms.

There are currently 1.2 million leasehold houses in England.

Mr Javid said: “It’s clear that far too many new houses are being built and sold as leaseholds, exploiting homebuyers with unfair agreements and spiralling ground rents.

“Enough is enough.

“These practices are unjust, unnecessary and need to stop.

“Our proposed changes will help make sure leasehold works in the best interests of homebuyers now and in the future.”

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