I've already experienced the damaging effect on a property's sale-ability whereby the ground rent doubles every ten years - its good to know this iniquitous 'tax' is in the spotlight and something's being done about it. Below is an article from Estate Agent Today by Graham Norwood which explains the latest proposals with comments from my professional body the NAEA. If you live in a property with doubling ground rents or wish to buy your freehold speak to your solicitor first for advice who'll check your terms. Contact me if you'd like to know more. Peter Scott, 01753 201 232 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Association of Estate Agents has welcomed the governments move to ensure most future new-build houses are sold as freehold with ground rents for new leases capped at £10 per year.
Yesterday Estate Agent Today reported that Housing Secretary James Brokenshire MP would today launch a consultation on the plans, in addition to seeking views on appropriate and fair exemptions such as shared ownership properties. In addition, landlords will in future be required to provide contact information of eligible leaseholders to the secretary of the residents association within four months of the request, providing that leaseholders have expressly consented to their details being shared.
Now a statement from the NAEA welcomes the move with chief executive Mark Hayward saying: Thousands of homeowners across the country are facing escalating ground rents, charges for making alterations to their properties and unable to sell their home. Therefore, it is only right the government looks to crackdown on unfair leasehold practices to stop even more people feeling trapped in homes.
Hayward says the associations recent research on the issue found 45 per cent of leasehold house owners did not know they were only buying the lease until it was too late, while 62 per cent feel they were mis-sold and the vast majority - 94 per cent - regret buying a leasehold. But the NAEA chief says the governments initiative addresses only part of the problem.
This announcement is only good news for those looking to buy a leasehold property in the future. With 4.2m leasehold properties in England, many will remain stuck in their lease with no straight forward way out and the industry needs to help them.