Justin Tomlinson MP has welcomed the news that Government funding schemes will no longer support the building of properties with unjustified new leaseholds.
Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire MP, made the announcement as he outlined the Government’s next steps towards delivering both the homes the country needs and a fairer, more transparent system for homebuyers.
Justin has actively raised the issue of unfair leasehold practice many times in Parliament, in particular through his work on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold Reform.
Over the past 20 years, the proportion of new-build houses sold on as leasehold has more than doubled, and in some parts of the country it is now almost impossible for a first-time buyer to purchase a new-build home on any other basis.
Huge numbers of properties are being sold as leasehold simply to create a reliable revenue stream for whoever owns the freehold. In many cases new homes are being built and are sold on in this way, with some of them being sold to new home buyers who are left with unfair agreements that lead to exploitative surcharges and spiralling ground rents.
The Government is already working to make it cheaper and easier for existing leaseholders to buy-out their freehold and improve information available about redress for those consumers who face the most onerous terms.
Changes will also be made so that ground rents on new long leases – for both houses and flats – are set to zero.
Among the measures also announced were:
- New proposals for 3-year minimum tenancy terms, with a 6-month break clause, to make renting more secure helping renters put down roots, and give landlords longer term financial security.
- The release of £450 million to speed up delivery of homes on sites of surplus public sector land and encouraging pace and modern methods of construction as a part of the building process.
- The launch of a new £100 million Community Housing Fund, to deliver affordable housing tailored to local needs, putting communities in the driving seat.
Justin Tomlinson MP said: “The use of these leaseholds & management fees is wrong, and seen residents in North Swindon charged extortionate fees. With 1.4 million leasehold houses across England, including many across Swindon, this latest announcement is another example of the Government taking action to make the leasehold market fairer. I am delighted Ministers have already launched a full review into scrapping these charges, and this will benefits hundreds of residents across Swindon”
Housing Secretary James Brokenshire said: “We have seen leaseholders in new-build homes facing unexpected costs rising every year that bear no relation to services and that’s not fair. So from now on any new government funding scheme will contain the condition that the money cannot support the unjustified use of leasehold for new homes.”