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Sweeping changes to property law which will see the abolition of charges for leaseholders have been welcomed by an industry expert.

Alan Draper, managing director of Common Ground Estate & Property Management, described the Government move as a “brilliant step forward.”

Under the current law, many people face high ground rents which can add thousands of pounds to the costs of a mortgage.

The ultimate owner or freeholder of the building can randomly increase charges making a leasehold unpredictably expensive, often causing it to be difficult to sell.

Recent changes unveiled by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick mean leaseholders can extend their lease by up to 990 years and no longer pay ground rent to the freeholder. Those moving into retirement properties will also see grounds rents cut to zero.

The move will also act as a catalyst for the roll out of the commonhold model which allows homeowners to own their property on a freehold basis and is widely used around the world.

Alan, who is a campaigner for commonhold reform, said: “This is a brilliant step forward and the first indication that the Government is pushing ahead with the commonhold agenda. These measures come as part of the biggest reforms to English property law for 40 years, fundamentally making home ownership fairer and more secure.

“I believe commonhold should replace leasehold which should have been outlawed many years ago. People have a right to own their properties outright rather than being forced to pay unpredictable extra costs for no benefit.”

The changes follow the Government’s recommendations by the Law Commission on how to make buying the freehold of a property or extending a lease easier, simpler and cheaper for leaseholders and how to pave the way for the widespread take-up of commonhold.

A UK Commonhold Council will be formed to reinvigorate commonhold and Alan will seek to be an active member of this group.

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