Plan to make all new houses freehold properties

Last January, The Times reported that Michael Gove, the levelling-up secretary, intended to abolish the leasehold system, describing it as an unfair and “outdated feudal system that needs to go”.

The Times is now reporting that, after a row with number 10, Gove has now reached a compromise with the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, that insiders say will lead to a gradual phasing out of leasehold properties.

Under the proposed reforms, the government will legislate to ensure that all new houses built must be sold as freehold, although new flats can still be leasehold.

Ministers also plan to cap all existing ground rents to a “peppercorn” rate and will run a consultation process of the issue within weeks, alongside the bill. It is expected to be one of the first pieces of legislation introduced in the new parliamentary session before Christmas.

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