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Leasehold Reforms

NAEA 2018 Report

The National Association Estate Agents (NAEA) released a report in 2018 that showed almost all leaseholders surveyed regretted buying a leasehold property. You can read the report in full here. It shows that 62% of leaseholders feel they were mis-sold when they bought a new build property. Furthermore, 57% admitted they didn’t even know they were buying a leasehold property until after they had bought their home.

Propertymark maintains pressure for Leasehold reforms

Propertymark is maintaining pressure on government to enact leasehold reforms. They argue that this remains an important issue despite COVID and Brexit creating difficulties for ministers.

Leasehold new build houses

Many of the issues relating to leasehold properties are new build houses. Developers sell the freeholds to managing companies who then hike ground rents, sometimes doubling them within 12 months. This leaves leaseholders facing soaring ground rents that they cannot afford. Therefore, they also then can’t sell the property because of the uncertainty surrounding the conditions of the leasehold. This effectively imprisons leaseholders in their own homes.

Propertymark campaign

Propertymark are continuing to lobby government on this issue. They have a website where you can find all relevant information on leasehold properties and excellent consumer guides.

Propertymark are campaigning for:

  • Introduce statutory regulation for leasehold market
  • Prevention of leasehold new build houses
    • Unless for legitimate reasons such as shared ownership schemes
  • Prevention of above inflation ground rent increases
  • Prevention of Section 8 Repossession due to ground rent arrears
  • Simplify extension to leases process
  • Freeholders must sign up to Ombudsman scheme where there is no managing agent

What can you do – Leaseholders support

There are many well established campaign groups where you can find information and support if you’re affected under a leasehold agreement.

National Leasehold Campaign

The NLC was set up in 2017 where Propertymark worked closely with the group to push forward leasehold reforms. They campaign for the complete abolition of leasehold for new build properties and commonhold agreements for flats. You can visit their website here.

Leasehold Valuers

Leasehold Valuers have been operating since 2013 to help leaseholders extend their leases or purchase their freeholds. They offer free advice, valuations and a negotiation service for leaseholders. Their website can be viewed here.

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