‘Free­hold only’ laws will end rip-off leases on new house

Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - BY NIGEL NEL­SON Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

NEW houses are to be sold free­hold in fu­ture to end the lease­hold rip-off.

Leases mean home­own­ers can face ground rent charges of up to £700 a year and see lit­tle in re­turn.

Now any new leases will have ground rents capped at £10.

Com­mu­ni­ties Sec­re­tary James Bro­ken­shire said: “Un­fair ground rents can turn a home­owner’s dream into a night­mare. And it makes prop­er­ties harder to sell. That’s why I’m tak­ing con­crete ac­tion.” Leases usu­ally ap­ply to flats with shared spa­ces but de­vel­op­ers have in­creas­ingly brought them in for houses. It means land­lords can hike rents to thou­sands of pounds a year and even charge for home im­prove­ments or hav­ing a pet. The only ex­cep­tions un­der the new sys­tem are likely to be com­mu­nity hous­ing and those in shared own­er­ship.

’UN­FAIR’ James Bro­ken­shire

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