A 13-year-old property ownership system branded by critics as a ‘failed tenure’ could be the answer to eliminating leasehold abuse, a trade body has suggested.

The Department for Communities and Local Government’s Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market consultation closed last night. The Conveyancing Association, in its response, says the commonhold system could tackle problems related to new-build leasehold houses, such as developers imposing escalating ground rents .

Part 1 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 came into force in September 2004, creating a new way of owning freehold properties which have communal facilities. The unit-holder owns the freehold interest in the unit and is a member of a commonhold association, which owns and manages the common parts.

Each commonhold has a community statement, which specifies the properties within the development and the rules of that commonhold.