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Bournemouth estate agent ordered to pay for misleading customers

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Ground Rents Reform Bill introduced

Wednesday 26 June 2019

A parliamentary Bill has been introduced which plans to see ground rents capped and over 100,000 trapped leaseholders enabled to sell their homes.

Conservative MP Eddie Hughes has successfully introduced his Private Members Bill via a Ten Minute Rule Motion having passed its First Reading. The Ground Rents (Leasehold Properties) Bill is now set to have its Second Reading which if it passes all legislative stages, could see the UK’s system of leasehold ground rents on existing leases overhauled.

The Bill is supported by Housing Minister Heather Wheeler, who was in Parliament to hear Hughes propose the legislation.

Measures within the bill will include a cap on ground rents and to make property developers liable for the legal costs of leaseholders seeking to vary their contracts.

It is claimed that many landlords use clauses allowing doubling ground rents and variation charges to extract onerous fees from leaseholders and in turn often means mortgage companies will not grant loans to buyers, or allow leasehold homeowners to remortgage, leaving their owners trapped.

During his speech Hughes documented the practical problems this has for many leaseholders: “Imagine for a moment you own a lovely apartment with your family, or perhaps even a recently built house and have lived there quite happily for a few years but you decide it’s time to move, maybe because of schools or work, or to move up the property ladder. You’re primed and ready to go. But the estate agent asks for a copy of your leasehold agreement, and there in its footnotes, you get hit with the fact you cannot sell your property, you’re trapped.”

Hughes will be helped by several MPs to draft the Bill, which has received cross-party support

NAEA Propertymark resources

NAEA Propertymark members can access multiple resources as part of their membership which aim to tackle tricky legislative changes and topics throughout the industry, guides and videos to help agents comply and understand more easily. We’ve created a comprehensive Understanding Leasehold guide to help members get to grips with the tenure.

Members area

Read our Leasehold: A Life sentence? report which provides key research and case-studies on issues faced by those trapped in their leasehold homes.

NAEA Propertymark also offers courses that cover topics across the sector including an Understanding Leasehold Properties Intermediate level course.

More information on courses

What Propertymark is doing

NAEA Propertymark believes it is unfair that leasehold owners across the country are stuck and unable to sell their property. That’s why we have responded to many consultations in order to push for a reform. Here are some of the responses NAEA Propertymark has submitted:

To find out more about NAEA Propertymark’s extensive campaign to raise awareness on issues faced by leaseholders visit our Leasehold Lobbying page.

A full list of NAEA Propertymark responses can be found below.

Consultation responses

We have also put together a number of consumer guides for you to share with your customers and help them better understand what it means to be a leaseholder.

Consumer guidance