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Legislation to ban leaseholds

Legislation to ban leaseholds on almost all new-build houses is among the measures promised to cut out unfair and abusive practices within the leasehold system. The government also said it would work with the Law Commission to make the process of purchasing a freehold or extending a lease much easier, faster and cheaper
Clearly the current leasehold system does not work effectively for leaseholders or freeholders, and taking steps to bring about changes to the system will benefit consumers.
The government’s moves to protect home buyers and combat the abuse of complicated leasehold terms by some developers is in the best interests of home buyers. The government said a consultation showed an overwhelming response in favour of tackling unfair practices.
According to the government, measures to be introduced include:
• legislating to prevent the sale of new build leasehold houses except where necessary such as shared ownership
• making certain that ground rents on new long leases – for both houses and flats – are set at zero
• working with the Law Commission to support existing leaseholders and make the process of purchasing a freehold or extending a lease much easier, faster and cheaper
• providing leaseholders with clear support on the various routes to redress available to them
• a wider internal review of the support and advice to leaseholders to make sure it is fit for purpose in this new legislative and regulatory environment
• making sure freeholders have equivalent rights to leaseholders to challenge unfair service charges. The Communities and Local Government Department said that legislation would be introduced as soon as possible subject to the availability of parliamentary time.

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