HC Deb 08 July 1997 vol 297 c446W
Mr. Chaytor

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions in which parts of the country the system of ground rents still exists; what representations he has received concerning abuses of the ground rent system; and what plans he has to review the legislation concerning ground rents. [7108]

Mr. Raynsford

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to rent charges levied by landowners who have released their land for development, which are otherwise known as ground rents or chief rents, rather than to ground rents for leasehold property.

The vast majority of rent charges are on properties in the Bristol, Manchester and Wearside areas. The Rentcharges Act 1977 enables some householders who are liable to pay rent charges to redeem them cheaply and easily. However, certain rent charges are excluded from the Act and we are actively studying suggestions that there may as a result be scope for abuse by owners of such rent charges.