ANOTHER developer has scrapped leasehold ground rent rises after a probe.

Residents living in homes built by Countryside Properties will no longer see their ground rent double every 10 to 15 years as previously seen and instead pay the fixed rate when they bought their place.

It comes after an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority, with the firm the latest to scrap the ‘unfair’ terms.

Almost 5 million people nationally have signed leasehold contracts, meaning they have the right to use the property but do not own it.

The lease is granted for a fixed time, usually 100 years or more, but people are often charged expensive ‘ground rent’ as well as fees, making them difficult to re-sell.

What starts at around £250 a year can be doubled every 10 or 15 years, called a doubling clause.

Campaigners say the leasehold system is sometimes not roperly explained to buyers leaving them trapped in homes they cannot sell.

But under increasing pressure about the practice, which has seen ground rents rise significantly and leaves buying out the freehold too expensive in many cases, several developers are scrapping the fees.

Countryside Properties joins Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments and Persimmon Homes have all seen enforcement action against them over ‘possibly unfair contract terms’ or possible mis-selling of leasehold homes.

Speaking to the BBC, Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said Countryside leaseholders could breathe a "sigh of relief", following the contract changes.

"No one should feel like a prisoner in their home, trapped by terms that mean they can struggle to sell or mortgage their property," he said.

"We will continue to robustly tackle developers and investors - as we have done over the past two years - to make sure that people aren't taken advantage of."

In June, Persimmon agreed for its leaseholders to buy the freehold of their property at a discount, while Aviva, which buys freeholds from house builders, pledged to repay homeowners who saw their ground rents double.

In January the Government vowed to scrap increasing leasehold ground rents and have buyers offered the right to increase their lease to 990 years.