A leading campaigner for leasehold reform has welcomed Government plans to radically change the system this year.
Housing Secretary Michael Gove says he wants to tackle “fundamentally unfair” leasehold schemes in England and bring forward legislation to change them in this Parliament. This important issue was highlighted on the BBC news on Friday.
The move has been seen as a positive step by Alan Draper, Managing Director of property management firm Common Ground, who has campaigned for leasehold reform for many years.
Alan wants to see Leasehold replaced by Commonhold where, instead of properties being owned by companies who charge ground rents and management fees, residents take over common ownership of their homes.
He said: “Leasehold should have been outlawed many years ago as it is a feudal system in all but name and I am pleased the Government is finally addressing the issue properly.
“People have a right to own their properties outright rather than being forced to pay unpredictable extra costs for no benefit and I hope to see Commonhold being widely adopted allowing residents to take management of their properties into their own hands.”
About 20 per cent of homes in England are leasehold properties, many of them flats in cities.
Government attempts to reform the system stretch back to the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 and in 2020 the Law Commission was brought in to review the current system leading to legislation last year which effectively abolished ground rents but only on new leases granted after June 2022.
Gove said: “The fundamental thing is that leasehold is just an unfair form of property ownership. In crude terms if you buy a flat, that should be yours.”
Alan added: “I am pleased that Michael Gove has confirmed that it was still the intention of the Government to introduce leasehold reform legislation before the next election.
“Whilst we are still lacking specific information about the proposed reforms that the Government is intending to introduce, it is reassuring that leasehold reform is still on the agenda!
“I just hope there is time to get these reforms through Parliament this year and end the misery of thousands for good.”