A new deal for leaseholders
The next Labour government will end leasehold ownership of new-build houses and flats and give new rights to existing leaseholders.
Labour’s shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey MP, is currently consulting leaseholders and others about his proposals. ‘This consultation document sets out the next Labour government’s ambition to end the broken leasehold model for good’, he says.
Labour proposes to:
- end the sale of new private leasehold houses with direct effect and the sale of private leasehold flats by the end of our first term in government
- end ground rents for new leasehold homes, and cap ground rents for existing leaseholders at 0.1% of the property value, up to a maximum of £250 a year
- set a simple formula for leaseholders to buy the freehold to their home, or commonhold in the case of a flat, capped at 1% of the property value
- crack down on unfair fees and contract terms by publishing a reference list of reasonable charges, requiring transparency on service charges and giving leaseholders a right to challenge rip-off fees and conditions or poor performance from service companies
- give residents greater powers over the management of their homes, with new rights for flat owners to form residents’ associations and by simplifying the right to manage
Labour also promises to revitalise commonhold and has renewed calls for a full public inquiry into mis-selling in the leasehold market.
If you have views or comments on the questions posed at the end of the proposals, do get in touch with us:
Q1 Should there be any exemptions to the prohibition on new private leasehold properties, and if so what should they be?
Q2 What changes need to be made to commonhold to ensure it can become the default tenure for new flats?
Q3 Do you agree with our proposals to restrict ground rents to zero, or a peppercorn, for new build properties?
Q4 Do you agree with our proposal to set the maximum ground rent chargeable at 0 .1% of property value, with a cap of £250 a year?
Q5 Do you agree with our proposed formula to allow leaseholders to buy the freehold to their home, or convert to commonhold?
Q6 What should we define as a ‘longer lease’ for the purposes of a new, simple formula for enfranchisement?
Q7 Do you agree that there should be a new route for redress for leaseholders suffering from unreasonable costs and conditions?
Q8 What types of covenants or administration fees should be permitted and what is a reasonable level to charge?
Q9 Do you agree with our proposals to abolish forfeiture on long leases?
Q10 What more could be done to give leaseholders more control over management of their buildings?
Q11 How can we best ensure effective management of commonhold or Right to Manage sites?
We would also like to hear about your experience of leasehold locally, particularly if you have had trouble with your property owner or freeholder.