15 May


Retirement house builders expected to win leasehold change exemption

Retirement home builders are likely to win an exemption from the upcoming changes on leasehold in England.

The Government has been consulting on reforms to the system of property tenure and has proposed banning or limiting the charging of ground rent on new-build properties.

However, retirement home builders have been lobbying ministers to ensure they can continue to impose the charge on new properties.


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Way to boost income

According to a report in The Times, builders have been offering more leasehold properties because they can bring in more annual income through the ground rents or by selling the leases on to investment companies.

Builders told ministers that removing their ability to sell leaseholds will add between £15,000 and £20,000 to the price of each retirement home.

Government support

The Times quoted a source in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government saying an exemption for the “retirement property sector remains the government’s stated position”.

In leasehold, a homeowner does not own the land on which their property stands but instead leases that land, usually for a long period of time. Ground rent is then paid annually to the landowner or freeholder.