The Government announced on 27 June 2019 a number of proposed reforms in the Residential Leasehold Sector, which include: –
- All new build houses to be sold on a freehold basis only.
- Help to Buy contracts will not permit new leasehold houses being sold (other than in exceptional circumstances).
- Ground rents will be reduced to zero on new residential leases.
- That the provision for information from the landlord (managing agent) required on the sale of a Lease will be limited to a charge of £200 and information must be provided within 15 working days.
- New provisions for tenancy deposits to be passported where a tenant moves home.
The Government are conducting a consultation at present and it may be some time before we receive any indication as to whether these changes will be made if indeed at all.
In addition, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is also consulting as to whether to introduce a redress scheme for a “New Homes Ombudsman” to be established to improve the rights of buyers of new build homes. The Government’s intention would be to make membership of the redress scheme compulsory for developers of new houses and to require house builders who participate in the help-to-buy scheme to belong to the New Homes Ombudsman Scheme. The Government would like this to extend to mandatory membership of the redress scheme to all private landlords, freeholders or leasehold properties and residential park home site operators.