The Government following a lengthy review have concluded that all new build houses will now be sold as Freehold to tackle the unfair leasehold practices that have been prevalent in the housing market within the last few years.

Ground rents on all new leases will be reduced to zero preventing Leaseholders being stuck with unfair rent reviews and will therefore prevent future home owners from being trapped with houses which cannot be sold as mortgage lenders will not accept the rent reviews or having to incur considerable expense to have the Lease changed.

All new houses will be sold on a Freehold basis unless there are exceptional circumstances and there will be immediate action to ban Help to Buys being used to support Leasehold houses.

The Government have also indicated that there will be a time limit of 15 working days and a maximum fee of £200.00 to obtain information from a Freeholder and/or Managing Agents in providing Leaseholders with information needed to sell their homes. This will hopefully speed up the selling/buying process on all leasehold property.

Buyers which have been incorrectly sold a Leasehold property will also be able to obtain their freehold outright at no extra cost. However, there has been no further guidelines in relation to how this will be.

Most older Leasehold properties are on a long lease, many being 999 year. However, newer properties can be on shorter leases of 250 or 99 years and have unfair rent reviews that can mean that the rent can be doubled every few years.  Hopefully the Government’s announcement will bring an end to this unfair practice.

If this has affected you, contact Sammy-Jo Woodward, solicitor or Caroline Rooks / John Petrie, Partners at MBH Solicitors, to discuss your conveyancing needs at: Tel: 01942 206060 Address: 26 Bridgeman Terrace, Wigan WN1 1TD

Twitter: @MBHSolicitors

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