A new petition has been started on the Parliament website calling for the abolition of ground rents. Last year the government indicated it wants to set ground rent to zero on new leases. And this petition simply calls for existing leases to brought in line with this. It points out that ground rent is a form of exploitation – especially when the increasingly common price escalations are added – and is not paid in respect of any service.
Last year Nationwide took a stand, saying it would not lend on properties with doubling ground rents. The petition points out the risk of other lenders following suit. There’s also a risk to home-owners if their properties become un-sellable later in life when increases are activated.
Currently the petition has 5648 signatures. At 10,000, the Government has to respond and at 100,000 it will be considered for debate in Parliament. There are estimated to be 8 million leaseholders in the UK so it should be possible to get a debate!