Leaseholders across Bury have been given a helping hand by the Housing Secretary as part of the biggest reforms to English property law for 40 years, making home ownership fairer and more secure.
The announcement means leaseholders will be given the right to extend their lease by a maximum term of 990 years at zero ground rent Robert Jenrick announced yesterday.
Under the current law many people face high ground rents, which combined with a mortgage, can make it feel like they are paying rent on a property they own.
Freeholders can increase the amount of ground rent with little or no benefit seen to those faced with extra charges. It can also lengthen and lead to increased costs when buying or selling the property.
Today’s changes will mean that any leaseholder who chooses to extend their lease on their home will no longer pay any ground rent to the freeholder, enabling those who dream of fully owning their home to do so without cumbersome bureaucracy and additional, unnecessary and unfair expenses
For some leaseholders, these changes could save them thousands, to tens of thousands of pounds.
Welcoming the news, Bury South Conservative MP Christian Wakeford, said: “Since I was elected many leaseholders have contacted me regarding issues such as doubling ground rent and extortionate costs to extend their leases.
“These changes could save households thousands of pounds, while protecting the elderly by reducing ground rents to zero for all new retirement homes, news which I know will be welcomed by so many across Bury.”
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP added:
“Across the country people are struggling to realise the dream of owning their own home but find the reality of being a leaseholder far too bureaucratic, burdensome and expensive.
“We want to reinforce the security that home ownership brings by changing forever the way we own homes and end some of the worst practices faced by homeowners.
“These reforms provide fairness for 4.5 million leaseholders and chart a course to a new system altogether.”
The government is also now establishing a Commonhold Council - a partnership of leasehold groups, industry and government - that will prepare homeowners and the market for the widespread take-up of commonhold.