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Pensioners for Ground Rent Association sounds alarm on Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill

Pensioners for Ground Rent Association sounds alarm on Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill


In a scathing assessment of the ongoing saga surrounding the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, the Pensioners for Ground Rent Association has issued a stark warning about the potential economic and legal fallout of the proposed legislation

Describing the situation as a "Parliamentary farce," the association has announced plans to take legal action against the government for breaching human rights under the European Convention.

A spokesperson for the association lamented the lack of transparency surrounding the bill, noting that crucial information has been relayed to the public via media outlets rather than through official parliamentary channels. Expressing disbelief at the government's intention to cap ground rents at £250 per annum, with a gradual reduction to zero over a 20-year period, the association criticised the move as an interference in UK contract law.

The spokesperson highlighted the financial implications of such a cap, particularly for institutions that have relied on long-term ground rent portfolios for decades. Emphasising the impact on pensioners and pension scheme members, the association warned of a significant drop in asset values and the potential destruction of retirement plans.

Moreover, the association expressed concern over the breach of parliamentary protocol regarding the Ground Rent Consultation's publication deadline. The failure to provide timely information to MPs has raised questions about the fairness and transparency of the decision-making process.

Quoting shadow housing minister Matthew Pennycook MP, who expressed frustration over the lack of clarity on proposed changes to ground rents, the association highlighted the need for further clarification before progressing to the next stage of parliamentary scrutiny.

Drawing attention to the Conservative Party's manifesto commitments, the association criticised the introduction of retrospective capping of rents to a peppercorn as contradictory and potentially damaging to the market. The prospect of retrospective legislation without fair compensation poses a significant risk to taxpayers and the reputation of English law, the association argued.

In conclusion, the association echoed the sentiments of Lord Sentamu, who emphasised the importance of upholding property rights and the rule of law. With mounting concerns over the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, the association's call for caution and adherence to legal principles serves as a sobering reminder of the potential consequences of rushed legislative action.