Leaseholders Set To Benefit From Change

22nd January 2021 posted in Buyers Landlords

Property leaseholders have enjoyed some good news this January, with Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announcing these property owners will be given the right to extend their lease by a maximum term of 990 years. Also, this will be offered at zero ground rent.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

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.

This will be fairer for many property holders

Many homeowners found that their ground rent payments were increased, and they didn’t see any benefit to justify the additional charges. Property owners also experienced difficulties in property transactions because of the existing lease.

The change means that any leaseholder who extends the lease on their property will not have to pay any ground rent to the freeholder. This should make property ownership a more secure dream for many households, as well as being a more affordable situation.

Professor Nick Hopkins, Commissioner for Property Law at the Law Commission said:

We are pleased to see government taking its first decisive step towards the implementation of the Law Commission’s recommendations to make enfranchisement cheaper and simpler.

The creation of the Commonhold Council should help to reinvigorate commonhold, ensuring homeowners will be able to call their homes their own.

Under current rules, leaseholders of houses can only extend their lease once for 50 years with a ground rent. This compares to leaseholders of flats who can extend as often as they wish at a zero ‘peppercorn’ ground rent for 90 years.

Today’s changes mean both house and flat leaseholders will now be able to extend their lease to a new standard 990 years with a ground rent at zero.

This will save thousands for property owners

It is no exaggeration to say that these changes will help some leaseholders to save thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds. This is a substantial saving, and there will be many homeowners who are extremely pleased about this news.

For those who like a quick summary, Zoopla have offered the following three takeaways with respect to this change:

  • Millions of homeowners with leasehold properties will be given a new right to extend their lease by up to 990 years
  • Changes could see some households save tens of thousands of pounds
  • All new retirement homes will also be sold without a ground rent

If you need any help or guidance regarding property matters, please get in touch. As your local housing market specialists, we will do what we can to ensure you make your next house move in style. Contact Hunters West Hampstead today for all your housing and letting needs.