A BOLTON homeowner caught up in a ground rent scandal has spoken at her delight after the Government announced a ban on the ways that homes can be sold.

Jo Darbyshire has lived with her husband Mark, and two children in a Taylor Wimpey built home in Silver Birch Close, Lostock since 2010.

Along with thousands of others in the UK who bought homes between 2007 and 2010, the property has a clause attached where the ground rent doubles every 10 years, leaving many buyers with huge financial burdens.

Now, in a blow for housebuilders such as Taylor Wimpey, the communities’ secretary, Sajid Javid, set out plans to ‘ban new-build houses being sold as leasehold as well as restricting ground rents to as low as zero.’

Mrs Darbyshire – who has worked tirelessly with a National Leasehold Campaign – said the news is a ‘huge step.’

She said: “Hopefully this will prevent others from becoming trapped in the nightmare that thousands of us are already stuck in.

“Next there needs to be a national review to help those of us who already have freeholds like the review of endowment misselling, to look at every case and put people back into the position they would have been without these onerous clauses.”

Under the ban, flats can still be sold as leasehold, but ground rents will be restricted to a ‘peppercorn’ level and therefore be of little financial value to speculative buyers. The ban is expected to come into force after a short eight-week consultation period.

Peter Hardman, who owns a leasehold home in Stonemere Drive, Radcliffe, said the ban doesn’t help current leaseholders. “It only seems to cover new-builds and offers no tangible alteration to existing leases,” he said.

Earlier this year, Taylor Wimpey agreed a £130m deal to help distressed leasehold buyers. At the time, it said that contracts where ground rents double every 10 years were legal but “not consistent with our high standards of customer service and we are sorry for the unintended financial consequence and concern they cause.”