Finance Minister Conor Murphy has been urged to introduce legislation to remove the right of absentee ‘freeholders’ to levy yearly charges on homeowners.
oyle MLA Sinead McLaughlin raised the issue after homeowners in Londonderry told her they had received unexpected demands for payment of annual ground rent and did not know they were required to pay.
“The freehold property system is feudal, dating back centuries and, according to written demands received by my constituents, requires annual payments to an absentee property owner. That property owner does nothing other than take the payments, based on inherited land ownership,” she said.
She called on Mr Murphy to legislate to remove the system, “as has been recommended for England and Wales by the Law Commission”.
In reply to an Assembly question, the minister has said the system will be “replaced in due course”.