The biggest change in leasehold property for many years was enacted last year when ground rents on new leases were abolished except in a few circumstances. Whilst this was a welcome relief for many home buyers they did not go as far as many people in the market were hoping. However, on the 20th of February this year, Michael Gove stated that the government are hoping in the forthcoming kings speech to introduce new legislation to create much more wide-ranging reforms of the leasehold system. Whilst this is unlikely to be the end of leasehold as some commentators have speculated the government have said they intend future legislation to:
- reform the process involved in calculation in cost to extend your lease or buy the freehold of a property.
- Abolish marriage value which is an additional cost on lease extensions.
- increase the length of statutory lease extension from 90 years to 990 years
- enabling leaseholders who already have a long lease to buy out the rent without having to pay to extend their lease.
The government have also said they intend to make buying and selling leasehold property easier with time scales for freeholders and managing agents to respond to leasehold queries and more significantly to cap the fees which they can charge for that.
Obviously all these changes are uncertain at the moment until the legislation is brought forward but it shows movement in a positive direction 4 leaseholders.