It's been five years since we started campaigning for leasehold reform and our latest report: Leasehold 2023: Has Anything Changed? shows there are still concerns with property agents and consumers still experiencing difficulties with several areas relating to leasehold law.

Leasehold stats

of agents believe homebuyers are more aware of issues surrounding leasehold property

of buyers ask for information about the lease before they view a property.

of agents said leasehold property with escalating ground rent will struggle to sell, even if priced correctly.

of agents who sell property on behalf of developers report that they do not always provide the pertinent leasehold information.

Cladding stats

Agents report that
of buyers ask about cladding before they view a property.

of agents saying that buyers only ask after they have agreed to purchase a property.

of agents reported that buyers only ask when banks make enquiries as part of the buying process.

Read the report

Property agents play a key role in supporting home buyers and sellers, so it is positive to see that consumer awareness about leasehold information has increased. However, increasing awareness is only one piece of the puzzle.

Policymakers must do more to create a level playing field with those who already own a leasehold property, make enfranchisement easier, simplify the process for lease extensions and where there is no managing agent, freeholders must sign up to a redress scheme.

Furthermore, as with sales, lettings and managing agents, for developers, there are no minimum standards to work in the sector and there are no statutory rules to ensure those buying and selling leasehold property are suitably qualified. As highlighted by the findings in our report a whole sector approach is needed to further protect consumers and bring about positive change for leaseholders.

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Timothy Douglas Head of Policy and Campaigns | Propertymark

Leasehold training and resources

Download our leasehold FAQs (members only) or attend a training course to further understand leasehold legislation and what you need to do.

Propertymark's Understanding leasehold research
Understanding leasehold

This guide provides Propertymark estate agents with best practice on helping people buy and sell leasehold property. Estate agents have a level of responsibility under the Consumer Protection Regulations to pass on all material information in respect of a lease.

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FAQs: Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 restricts ground rents on newly created long residential leases for single dwellings such as a flat or house to a token one peppercorn per year, effectively restricting ground rents to zero financial value.

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FAQs: Leasehold Reform

On 7 January 2021, the UK Government announced reforms with the intention of making it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy their homes in England.

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Leasehold: How to read leases

Navigate your way around leases to quickly find the answers to day-to-day questions which typically arise.

Leasehold: A Life Sentence

In September 2018, Propertymark’s report ‘Leasehold: A Life Sentence?’ unearthed some troubling statistics about the way leaseholders have been treated when purchasing their property.

As part of our campaign, we surveyed over 1,000 leaseholders to explore the extent of the scandal which has left thousands of people facing escalating ground rent, extortionate fees for making cosmetic alternations and the inability to sell their homes.

  • 48% were unaware of escalating ground rents attached to their lease when they purchased the property.
  • 60% of those leaseholders currently trying to sell their home report that they are struggling to sell because it is leasehold.
  • 62% of leaseholders felt that they were mis-sold when they bought their home.
  • 70% of leaseholders are worried that they will not be able to sell their homes because they are leasehold.
  • 94% of leasehold homeowners regret buying a leasehold.

Read the report

Campaign success

Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act

Campaigning from Propertymark helped lead to the introduction of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act in June 2022, ending ground rent for most new long residential leases granted for properties in England and Wales.

In 2018, Propertymark provided evidence to the House of Common’s Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s Leasehold reform inquiry and the UK Government’s consultation on

making the leasehold market fairer. We were a member of the Welsh Government’s Task and Finish Group set up to reform the leasehold sector. Its report which identified failings in the leasehold system was released in July 2019.

In 2021, Propertymark’s research as published in our Leasehold: A Life Sentence report was quoted in Parliament by Baroness Andrews during Second Reading of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill to highlight issues around ground rents and unreasonable service charges.

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27 Jun 2022
Leasehold changes take effect

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 takes effect on 30 June 2022, ending ground rent for most new long residential leases granted for properties in England and Wales.

Campaign success

New Homes Ombudsman

After lobby for its introduction as part of our work on leasehold issues, the UK Government introduced a New Homes Ombudsman via the Building Safety Act 2022.

Propertymark put forward proposals for an ombudsman scheme for purchasers of new build homes and for all new house builders sign up to the Consumer Code for Home Builders in our research, Leasehold: A Life Sentence.

We also outlined our concerns and put our proposals forward to the House of Commons Housing Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry into leasehold reform and the UK Government’s call for evidence into improving the home buying and selling process.

Bringing new homes under the scope of an ombudsman allows for a level playing field across the entire house buying process and will ensure the selling activities that developers are engaging in are of a consistently high standard.

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10 Oct 2022
Ombudsman Service launches with Code for housing developers

Barratt, Taylor Wimpey, Redrow and Bellway are among 100 firms signed up to a new Code of Practice, following the launch of a new Ombudsman Service. The Code has been developed in response to growing pressure surrounding complaints from owners of new build housing that issues fail to be resolved effectively.

Related news

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01 Mar 2024
Ground rent ban still missing from Leasehold Reform Bill

Concerns were raised about the absence of central elements of the promised reforms when the Bill was first introduced to Parliament in November 2023. The UK Government said it would bring in amendments as it made its way through the Parliamentary process, but whilst a ban on new leasehold houses is now added, Housing Minister Lee Rowley, MP, stated restrictions on ground rent are still being considered.

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30 Jan 2024
Communicating correctly about leasehold properties

If the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill becomes law, it’s expected that the sales market for leasehold properties will be reinvigorated. Leasehold is a complex area and can be intimidating for agents and consumers, so what are the fundamentals of the current situation, and how will this change if the Bill is introduced?

Inside apartment window view of young man smiling and answering emails from home
21 Dec 2023
More mortgage choice for those affected by building safety issues

Virgin Money, TSB and Skipton Building Society will now consider applications for properties in buildings that are yet to be remediated, or where leaseholders are protected from remediation costs, however, buildings that are excluded from such protections do not benefit.

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12 Dec 2023
Success of leasehold reform rests on fundamental amendments

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 11 December 2023 and was broadly welcomed with cross-party support, despite criticism that it does not go far enough.

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04 Dec 2023
Updated plans on high-rise safety designed to reassure lenders

There is a confirmed route to remediation for all buildings over 11 metres in Wales, with ten major UK developers already lined up to complete fire safety works. Alongside new cladding valuation guidance expected from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), these plans demonstrate to valuers and lenders that essential work can be carried out at no cost to leaseholders.

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27 Nov 2023
Leasehold and Freehold Bill starts progress through UK Parliament

A ban on new leasehold houses and limits on ground rent for new flats are contained in the long-promised and eagerly awaited Bill, and for existing leaseholders, selling should be made quicker and easier.