Andrew has given his backing to reforms to the housing market, declaring that they will benefit homebuyers in the area.
Under reforms announced on Thursday 27 June, all new-build houses must be sold as freehold bringing to an end unfair leaseholds that see home-owners trapped in exploitative arrangements with ever increasing ground rents.
Ground rents on new leaseholds will also be reduced to zero, instead of a £10 cap that had been under consideration.
Other measures will see a 15 day time limit for freeholders and managing agents to respond to current leaseholders with information about their homes, a change to Help to Buy contracts to stop leaseholds being sold through the scheme, and a way for people mis-sold a leasehold to convert their ownership to freehold at no extra cost.
Plans to create a new Housing Ombudsman to protect the rights of homebuyers and hold developers to account were also set out.
Mr Stephenson said, “I strongly welcome these reforms. Homebuyers have been ripped off by developers through abuse of leaseholds, including Pendle residents.
“Owning a home should give people financial security. That hasn’t been the case for some families who have bought their property as a leasehold often without enough information, then to find they have to pay ever-increasing and extortionate ground rents to greedy developers.”
“In my current role as Minister for the construction sector, I will be doing all that I can to see these new rules implemented to stop homebuyers getting taken for a ride in future.”
Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said, “We have long recognised that we have a responsibility to confront unfairness in the leasehold market. Last year we consulted on proposals including the leasehold house ban and ground rent reduction.
“Today I can confirm we will go ahead with our original plan to reduce ground rents on future leases to zero, as opposed to a cap of £10 per year.
“And we will legislate to ensure that in the future – save for the most exceptional circumstances – all new house will be sold on a freehold basis.
“We are committed to taking bold action to reform the sector and will be pressing ahead as soon as parliamentary time allows – helping us delivery our promise to make the home buying and selling process quicker, cheaper and easier.”