members.parliament.uk Michael Gove https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

13 Nov 23

“It is imperative that landlords, that you express your views in the consultation here ASAP.

The government has announced plans to slash ground rents and save homeowners thousands of pounds.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove has launched a consultation that aims to cap ground rents at a so-called “peppercorn” rate for existing leaseholders, freezing ground rents at current levels and capping the ground rents at a percentage of the property value.

The government says it is delivering its manifesto pledge to create a fairer system for millions of leaseholders.

Burdened with onerous ground rents

Confirmed as part of the Leasehold and Freehold Bill in the King’s Speech the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities (DLUHC) will consult on proposals to decide the best way forward to benefit leaseholders.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove said: “People work hard to achieve the dream of homeownership. They plan, toil, sacrifice, save and should rightly be proud to get on the housing ladder.

“However, far too many are burdened with onerous ground rents – these punitive charges can leave some paying thousands of pounds a year for nothing in return.

“Ground rent can feel like an annual reminder that you do not own the land your home stands on, that your lease on it is finite, and that there is a payment for the privilege of staying there.

He added: “Today we are taking further steps to right that wrong – consulting you, the public, about how best to change this system so leaseholders are not exploited any longer and can take back control of their own destiny.”

Transparency over service charges

The government say the proposals introduced in the Leasehold and Freehold Bill will make it cheaper and easier for people to extend their lease or buy their freehold.

There will also be greater transparency over service charges and insurance commissions.

The public consultation will be open for six weeks and can be viewed here.  

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