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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agents want help for existing leaseholders as well as new ones

The National Association of Estate Agents has welcomed the government’s move to ensure most future new-build houses are sold as freehold with ground rents for new leases capped at £10 per year.

Yesterday we 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’s only right the government looks to crackdown on unfair leasehold practices to stop even more people feeling trapped in homes they cannot afford to continue living in.”

Hayward says the association’s recent research on the issue found 45 per cent of leasehold house owners didn’t 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 government’s 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.”

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