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Bogus Ground Rent

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to protect leaseholders from bogus ground rent charges. [120044]

The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, which contains wide-ranging provisions to improve leaseholders rights, includes provisions that will protect leaseholders from ground rent abuses. These provide that a leaseholder will not be liable to pay ground rent unless the landlord has sent a written demand in a prescribed format. They also provide that the landlord cannot take forfeiture action unless a breach of the lease has been admitted, or determined by a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. In addition, a landlord cannot take forfeiture action for amounts which are less than a sum to be prescribed by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister— unless the amount has been outstanding for more than a prescribed period. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister aims to bring these provisions into force in early 2004.