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So much for the ban! Over half of new houses have been sold on leasehold terms in some towns since ministers vowed to end the ‘unfair’ practiceFurious backlash over practice of selling new houses under leasehold termsMinisters announced ban on new builds being sold leasehold at the end of 2017Figures show over half of new…
So much for the ban! Over half of new houses have been sold on leasehold terms in some towns since ministers vowed to end the ‘unfair’ practice
- Furious backlash over practice of selling new houses under leasehold terms
- Ministers announced ban on new builds being sold leasehold at the end of 2017
- Figures show over half of new houses sold on the terms in some towns last year
- Housing Secretary James Brokenshire says he is tackling ‘exploitative practices’
More than half of new houses were sold on ‘unfair’ leasehold terms in some towns last year – despite the government announcing a ban.
Ministers are facing a backlash for failing to act after figures emerged showing the practice is still widespread.
Government estimates suggest there are 4.3million homes with leases in England, 1.4million of them houses.
The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership campaign believes 100,000 families are trapped in houses that are now unsellable because their contracts are so unfair.
Some double charges every decade, while other freeholds are sold on to third parties who only allow homeowners to buy them out for exorbitant fees.
Government estimates suggest there are 4.3million homes with leases in England, 1.4million of them houses
In December 2017 then-Communities Secretary Sajid Javid pledged to ban the sale of ‘almost all’ newly-built houses with leases.
However, according to details compiled by the House of Commons library, in 21 constituencies last year more than half of such sales were on leasehold terms.
Some 22 per cent of new houses were sold leasehold in the North West – 2,300 properties – while in London the figure was 19 per cent.
A total of 3,394 were sold across England last year.
Shadow housing secretary John Healey, who obtained the figures, said: ‘Leaseholders find they have brought their home, but still don’t own it, and many feel ripper off by unfair leasehold contracts.
‘The government announced action 18 months ago but too little has changed, and it is clear the worst housebuilders take no notice of ministers.
‘Their proposals for leasehold reform are too slow, too weak, and overlook existing leaseholders.’
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire – who last week repeated the pledge to ban leasehold sales of new-build houses – said: ‘I have been clear that exploitative and unfair leasehold arrangements have no place in a modern housing market so we are taking bold action to reform the sector.
‘We will legislate to ensure that in the future – unless there are exceptional circumstances – all new houses will be sold on a freehold basis, with ground rents in future leases reduced to zero.
‘Just last week, I announced that we are seeking to vary contracts with developers to ban the sale of leasehold houses, other than in exceptional circumstances, within the current Help to Buy scheme.’
Shadow housing secretary John Healey said government action on leaseholds was ‘too slow and too weak’
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire insisted the government was cracking down on ‘exploitative practices’
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