What is the Ground Rent Scandal?
If you purchase a leasehold property, you essentially enter into a long-term rental agreement where an external freeholder owns the land on which your property is built.
This means that you have to pay the freeholder an annual ground rent fee and seek their permission for any design changes you may wish to make. Initially, ground rent fees were as low as £1 per year for the property occupant: however, property developers began adding in fee doubling clauses to leasehold contracts in which the fee would double every decade.
With many leasehold properties having 999-year leases, this would inevitably lead to astronomical ground rents; as many banks are now refusing to grant mortgages against these properties, this renders them virtually unsellable.