CMA frees leaseholders from rising ground rents

22 Mar 2022

Intervention by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has freed leaseholders from increasing ground rent terms that saw them trapped in homes they struggled to sell or mortgage.

Businesses which had bought freeh­olds from housing developer Countryside have now given formal commitments to the CMA to remove terms that cause ground rents to double in price.

These terms, which kick in every ten or 15 years, mean people often struggle to sell or obtain a mortgage on their leasehold home.

Their property rights can also be at risk if they fall behind on their ground rent. The move comes after the CMA secured undertakings from Countryside in September 2021 to strike out terms that doubled ground rent every ten to 15 years.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: 'Thousands more leaseholders can now rest easy knowing they will not be forced to pay costly doubling ground rents. We believe these terms are unjust and unwarranted and can result in people trapped in homes they are unable to sell or mortgage – a major cause of anxiety and stress for so many.

'We welcome the commitment from these businesses to do what is right by their leaseholders by removing these terms, and we will hold them to it.'

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