This week Tory MPs rejected, by a majority of 144 votes, an amendment put forward by Labour that would have required the government to produce legislation to reduce ground rents in existing leasehold properties to a ‘peppercorn’.

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill aims to abolish ground rent but only on future leasehold properties so will do nothing for those already trapped in the scandal of spiralling ground rents. To add insult to injury hundreds of thousands of leaseholders are now expected to pay for historical remediation of flats as a result of the building safety scandal not of their making with an untold number facing bankruptcy.

Wholesale reform is needed but the government is too close to the major developers entangled in this mess to take meaningful action, as evidenced by the painfully slow progress in this matter.

Labour is on the side of homeowners and tenants, the Conservatives are on the side of developers and speculators.

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