MP backs new package of leasehold reforms

Stafford MP, Jeremy Lefroy has welcomed a new package of leasehold reforms to further support existing as well as future leaseholders.

Measures announced include clamping down on unjustified legal costs for leaseholders, an industry pledge to tackle doubling ground rent charges and reforms to provide greater consumer protections and transparency around the use of event fees in retirement leasehold properties.

Under current rules, leaseholders may be liable for their freeholder’s legal costs even if they are successful in a legal challenge. The Government has announced plans to bring forward legislation to close legal loopholes that allow freeholders to unjustifiably recoup legal costs from leaseholders.

An industry leaseholder pledge, signed by more than 40 leading property developers and freeholders has also been announced which commits them to doing away with onerous ‘doubling clauses’ that can result in ground rents soaring exponentially over a short period of time. The freeholders who have signed have committed to changing the terms of leases for those who are affected. Other industry bodies such as managing agents have also put their names down, vowing to act fairly and transparently in their dealings with leaseholders.

Commenting, Jeremy said: “It is vital that we have a leasehold market that is transparent, fair and affordable for all those involved; where people know in advance what they are going to have to pay, are not saddled with mounting or unaffordable costs and are able to challenge fees if they feel they are unjustified or unfair.

“The Government is committed to reforming the leasehold market so that it is fit for purpose and works for everyone – and this package of reforms builds on the government’s wider leasehold reform programme.”