Labour promises radical reform of Britain’s home ownership model

The Labour Party has unveiled its plans to overhaul the leasehold model of home ownership, which has its origins in the middle ages.

There are more than four million leasehold properties in England, but many have unfair charges and restrictions demanded by unscrupulous freeholders. 

In the worst cases the ground rent charged to the leaseholder doubles every 10 years, leaving homes unsellable.

As revealed earlier this week by Telegraph Money, Labour’s main proposal is to restrict or end property ground rents for all leaseholders.

But Labour would also ban sales of new private leasehold houses immediately upon taking power, and flat sales within the party’s first term, according to a consultation published today.

Other proposals include making it simpler for leaseholders to buy the freehold to their property.

Most leaseholders have a legal right to do this but the process can be made expensive and difficult by reluctant freeholders.

Labour would also end unfair fees charged to freeholders by publishing a list of reasonable charges.

Currently, leasehold contracts can require homeowners to pay fees to their freeholder for everyday things such as having a pet or putting a fence up.

The Labour consultation said: “The truth is a Conservative government can’t help leaseholders because they won’t stand up to the vested interests in the property market who are profiting out of the leasehold scandal.”