Cabinet minister intervenes to address leasehold scandal

The Government has announced plans to ban the sale of leaseholds on new-build homes.

The move, which was outlined by the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid last month, comes amid growing concerns about the current state of the property market.

In his speech, the cabinet minister also vowed to take action to address the problems of exorbitant ground rents, which have rendered many homes unsaleable and affected tens of thousands around the country.

Mr Javid said: “It’s clear that far too many new houses are being built and sold as leaseholds, exploiting home buyers with unfair agreements and spiralling ground rents.

“Enough is enough. These practices are unjust, unnecessary and need to stop. Our proposed changes will help make sure leasehold works in the best interests of homebuyers now and in the future.”

The ban – expected to take effect following an eight-week consultation period – has been broadly welcomed by campaigners, although questions remain about existing leaseholders, many of whom are already grappling with onerous charges.

Sebastian O’Kelly, from the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, said: “Leasehold houses are an absolute racket: a means by which developers have managed to turn ordinary people’s homes into long-term investment vehicles for shadowy investors, often based offshore.

“In short, plc housebuilders have been systematically cheating their own customers.”

If you need guidance on buying or selling your home, our experienced conveyancers can provide support at every stage of the process. For further advice please contact the head of the Property team Michael Stock ( or visit our website.


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