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Labour outlines plans to reform ‘broken’ leasehold system

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Written by: Marc Shoffman
09/07/2019
As well as banning leaseholds on new build houses and flats, the Opposition would cap ground rents at £250 a year and enable owners to buy their freehold for 1% of their home's value
Labour outlines plans to reform ‘broken’ leasehold system

Labour has unveiled leasehold reform proposals that would go further than current government measures.

A report, titled Ending The Scandal, Labour’s New Deal For Leaseholders, proposes a ban on the sale of new leasehold houses and flats.

It also proposes that if in government, Labour would make leaseholders able to purchase their full freehold for a maximum of one per cent of the property value.

Ground rents on existing leaseholds would also be capped at 0.1 per cent of the property value, up to a maximum of £250 a year.

This would go further than the current government reforms, which only propose banning the sale of leasehold houses and the only measure for existing leaseholders is that ground rents on renewed leases would revert to zero.

John Healey, shadow housing secretary, said: “Leasehold is a symbol of our broken housing system, with millions of England’s homeowners feeling like they’ve bought their home but still don’t own it.

“The scale of the problems faced by leaseholders, from rip-off ground rents, to punitive fees to onerous contract conditions stating what they can and can’t do to their own homes demands wholesale change. We need a revolution in rights for leaseholders.

“This consultation document sets out the next Labour Government’s ambition end the broken leasehold model for good.”

Activists from the National Leasehold Campaign have backed the proposals, claiming Labour has “upped the stakes in the competition for votes of the millions of existing leaseholders.

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