Government ‘could ban unfair leasehold terms’

The Government could ban unfair leasehold terms for new build houses, according to Communities secretary Sajid Javid.

Speaking to the Communities and Local Government Committee this afternoon, Javid said the Government would consider an outright ban as part of its response to a planned consultation on leasehold properties.

Some property developers have been accused of selling houses under leasehold terms that mean homeowners pay yearly high ground rents to the freeholder.

Some of these rents double every five or ten years, hitting homeowners and making resale difficult or impossible.

When asked if the Government would consider new laws to make sure leasehold terms are fair, Javid said: “It may be more than that… [the Government] could ban houses built on leasehold terms for no good reason, ban it outright.”

He added: “What we are particularly focused on here is the ground rent and whether there is an unfairness in the system.”

Javid said the Government was not targeting flat leaseholds as part of its campaign.

He added that policy on the issue could be affected by yesterday’s news of a snap general election.