This was a change of shift for LKP, which feels that simple law setting new ground rents to zero would transform the leasehold sector: it would deprive it of a future.
The other reforms in the offing such as reforming enfranchisement mathematical procedures, commonhold and even right to manage all open up the possibility of a “feeding frenzy” for the leasehold sector’s paid lobbyists.
But setting new ground rents to zero – originally promised by Sajid Javid and repeated by his successors – would fundamentally change the climate in which future leasehold reforms could be addressed.
The meeting with Esther McVey was very positive, with the minister clearly sympathising with the plight of leaseholders who have been dumped in now unsellable homes.
She was clearly unimpressed that our highly subsidised plc house builders had created investment assets in people’s homes through leasehold, and commercialising freeholders were using leasehold’s many opportunities to monetise them.
This was the first meeting with a housing minister where LKP has felt there was a genuine empathy for those caught up in this housing scandal.