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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28 May 2024
Campaign continues as ground rent cap not included in leasehold reform

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill received Royal Assent and became law on Friday 24 May 2024. It was included as part of the 'wash-up', as the House of Lords dealt with Bills prioritised with cross-party agreement, following the announcement of the General Election on Wednesday 22 May 2024.

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17 May 2024
Insistence on higher cladding standards is delaying sales

Propertymark has written to Housing Minister Lee Rowley, MP, to highlight a growing trend for insurers to decline or charge more for cover on properties that have been remediated within the funding limits provided by the UK Government, leading to more costs for hard-pressed leaseholders.

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13 May 2024
Proposals to scrap lease renewal rules under discussion

The Scottish Law Commission has opened a consultation on the Tenancy of Shops (Scotland) Act 1949, which deals with commercial lease renewals for retail, food and drink, hair and beauty and wholesale tenants. They are seeking the views of agents, tenants, and landlords on whether there is still a need for the Act, and whether it should be repealed, replaced, or reformed.

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10 May 2024
Leaseholders to get access to free legal advice

The Welsh Government has launched a new scheme to help support leaseholders in medium and high-rise buildings affected by fire safety issues in Wales. Launched on 10 May 2024, the scheme offers free and bespoke legal advice to help resolve potential disputes.

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09 May 2024
Ground rent reforms at risk of being diluted after resistance from Treasury

Over 30 Conservative MPs have written to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt expressing concern that plans for reform are being weakened as the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill progresses through parliament. In particular, and despite a promise in the 2019 Conservative manifesto, it is now expected that ground rents will be capped at £250 per year instead of being cut to zero.

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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.