Ground Rent Reform

Freedom from Ground Rent

30/06/2022

On 30th June 2022 The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 will receive Royal Assent and come into force. The Act applies to “regulated leases”, which are residential leases, granted for a term of at least 21 years in return for a premium. The Act limits the ground rent that can be charged to a peppercorn (£0). 

Therefore, anyone buying a home with a new lease on or after 30th June 2022 will only have to pay ground rent of a peppercorn (£0).

The key points of the Act are:

  • The Act is not retrospective. Ground rents under existing leases will not be affected in anyway.
  • Statutory lease extensions for existing leases are exempt from the Act (however under existing legislation they already result in the ground rent being reduced to £0). Voluntary lease extensions will be covered by the Act and will require the ground rent to be reduced to a peppercorn.
  • The Act will apply to retirement properties. However, the changes for retirement properties will come into force no sooner than 1st April 2023.
  • There are selected exceptions from this Act. These include: applicable community-led housing, certain financial products and business leases. Any landlord or agent who requests payment of rent or receives payment and fails to return it to the tenant within 28 days after receipt could be fined up to £30,000.

Commentary

Leasehold Minister, Lord Stephen Greenhalgh said “Abolishing these unreasonable costs will make the dream of home ownership a more affordable reality for the next generation of home buyers”

In preparation, many major landlords have already reduced ground rent to £0 for anyone buying a new lease. However, the long-term impact the Act will have is not yet known.

The Act is the first part of the government’s ambitious proposed leasehold reforms. In January 2021 we covered the announcement of reforms in detail.

More information

Pinney Talfourd are experts in commercial and residential property litigation and can advise you on changes to the law so you are given up to date advice. Please do not hesitate to contact either Stephen Eccles on 01708 463202 or Oliver-James Topping on 01708 463227 should you wish to discuss anything further.

The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Oliver-James Topping, Solicitor in the Residential Property Litigation Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of June 2022.

30/06/2022

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