Systematic mis-selling of new build properties with exorbitant ground rents has led to a sharp rise in leaseholders facing big bills for ground rents, which are a charge for no service, rip-off permission fees and escalating service charges and estate management fees, according to the NLC.
Existing leaseholders face trying to navigate a system that is stacked against them and designed to maximise profits for freeholders, according to NLC founder and spokeswoman Katie Kendrick.
She said: “For far too long leaseholders have been told that it is their own fault for signing these toxic agreements, but this announcement proves how flawed this system is and is the start of the end for leasehold.
“We are delighted that government has committed to delivering these reforms in this Parliament and urge them to strongly reject the fierce lobbying and delaying tactics they will get from the sector determined to keep the leasehold gravy train running.”
The NLC is particularly delighted to see the reversal of the exemption on zero ground rents for retirement properties.
Cath Williams, a university lecturer from Liverpool, commented: “Today’s announcement is great news for leaseholders. We always knew that if ground rents are abolished on new properties then there is more pressure to sort out the existing system as otherwise existing leaseholders are disadvantaged.
“Helping existing leaseholders to access a streamlined, simpler, cheaper mechanism to extend leases or buy their freehold is a huge step forwards and removes the current game playing by institutional investors.”