Javid to act on leasehold terms

Communities secretary Sajid Javid is looking to ensure Help to Buy is only made available on schemes in which homes are sold on "fair terms", giving what he called a "serious message" to the industry.

Speaking at last month's HBF Policy conference, Javid highlighted his concern about too many houses being sold on leasehold terms leaving buyers with large ground rent charges or charges to build an extension.

Although acknowledging that housebuilders were addressing this issue, Javid said: "I don't like legislating to fix problems like this, but I don't see how we can look the other way while these practically feudal policies persist.

“So I will look to ensure Help to Buy equity loans are only used to support new build houses on acceptable terms. This will send a serious message to the building industry: if you want the government to help you build and sell homes, you have to sell them on fair terms.”

Javid accepted that it was important to set out a future for Help to Buy which presently runs until 2021. He said he hoped details on how it will progress will come "quite soon".

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley said: "The industry is already working with government to develop leasehold terms that balances the need to continue to increase housing supply with what is fair for homebuyers. There are some instances where selling properties leasehold is necessary so it is important that policy changes reflect this and allow for flexibility to enable the industry to continue to drive housebuilding forward."

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