Sunderland Echo

Home owners welcome shake-up of leaseholds

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Property reforms that will allow leases on homes to be extended by almost 1,000 years could save leaseholde­rs "tens of thousands of pounds", according to the Government.

The Ministry of Housing, Communitie­s and Local Government said the shake-up, which will give leaseholde­rs the right to extend their lease by 990 years, means millions of people will no longer have to pay ground rent to the freeholder, removing an added expense from owning a home.

The proposals, announced by Housing Secretary Robe r t Je n r i c k a re b e i n g d e - scribed as some of the biggest reforms to property law for 40 years as ministers strive to make home ownership fairer and more secure.

A freeholder owns both the property and the land it stands on while leaseholde­rs only own the property, paying ground rent to the freeholder.

Mr Jenrick said: "Across the country people are struggling to realise the dream of owning their own home but f i n d th e rea l i ty o f b e i n g a leaseholde­r far too bureaucrat­ic, burdensome and expensive.

"We want to reinforce the security that home ownership brings by changing forever the way we own homes and end some of the worst practices faced by homeowners. These reforms provide fairness for 4.5million leaseholde­rs and chart a course to a new system altogether."

Un d e r c u r re nt r u l e s , leaseholde­rs of houses can only extend their lease once for 50 years with a ground rent.

The reforms mean both house and flat leaseholde­rs will now be able to extend their lease to a new standard 990 years with a ground rent at zero, said a department spokesman.

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