ANDREW Stephenson, Pendle's MP, has backed reforms to the housing market, declaring they will benefit homebuyers in his constituency.

The new reforms mean all new-build houses must be sold as freehold bringing to an end unfair leaseholds that see home-owners trapped in exploitative arrangements with ever increasing ground rents.

Ground rents on new leaseholds will also be reduced to zero, instead of a £10 cap that had been under consideration.

Plans to create a new housing ombudsman to protect the rights of homebuyers and hold developers to account were also set out.

Mr Stephenson said, "I strongly welcome these reforms. Homebuyers have been ripped off by developers through abuse of leaseholds, including Pendle residents.

"Owning a home should give people financial security.

"That hasn't been the case for some families who have bought their property as a leasehold often without enough information."