In 2017 Sefton Council was “concerned about the alarming rise in the number of new houses sold as leasehold, the time period of the lease and the details of service charges being levied”.
The Council motion resolved, amongst a range of other measures, “to write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government expressing concern about the alarmingly rapid rise in new build houses sold as leasehold and the duration and costs associated with the terms of the lease, including service charges”.
Since 2017, the Government announced plans to tackle the growing problem of newly built houses sold as leasehold rather than freehold, and to limit ground rents on new lease agreements.
This page provides information to owner-occupiers who own a residential leasehold property. This includes flats, houses and park homes.
The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 came into force on 30 June 2022. This Act fulfils the commitment to “set future ground rents to zero.” The provisions apply only to new lease agreements. New leases of retirement properties are in scope, but not before 1 April 2023.
The Government has stated that the Kings Speech (proposed for Autumn 2023) will contain a range of leasehold reform measures that will: Future legislation will:
- Reform the process of enfranchisement valuation used to calculate the cost of extending a lease or buying the freehold.
- Abolish marriage value.
- Cap the treatment of ground rents at 0.1% of the freehold value and prescribe rates for the calculations at market value. An online calculator will simplify and standardise the process of enfranchisement.
- Keep existing discounts for improvements made by leaseholders and security of tenure.
- Retain the separate valuation methodology for low-value properties known as “section 9(1)”.
- Give leaseholders of flats and houses the same right to extend their lease agreements “as often as they wish, at zero ground rent, for a term of 990 years”.
- Allow for redevelopment breaks during the last 12 months of the original lease, or the last five years of each period of 90 years of the extension to continue, “subject to existing safeguards and compensation”.
- Enable leaseholders, where they already have a long lease, to buy out the ground rent without having to extend the lease term.
The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) gives free legal advice to leaseholders on the law affecting residential leasehold in England and Wales.
LEASE is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities .