Dear Barry

Our ground rent article captured the imagination of readers - including one property owner who reached out for our help.
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You may remember back in November we published a comprehensive guide to a widely-misunderstood (and oft-resented!) aspect of property ownership – ground rent.

Our guide to buying out (or redeeming) the ground rent on your property seems to have captured the imagination of our readers, as we had a massive response to the article. One such reader who got in touch was Norman, a property owner in Belfast.

He’d long been interested in the idea of ground rent redemption. Whilst he’d heard many property professionals talking about the concept over the years, when he pressed them on it, he was told it was complicated or too difficult.

Norman dropped us a line to say how impressed he was with our article; that it laid things out really clearly and simplified the process for him. He wanted to know if we would give him a hand in redeeming his ground rent, and I for one was only too happy to put one of our articles into action in the real world.

After a good chat at the office, he went away and sent the following into Land & Property Services in Belfast (LPS):

  • The GR1 application form
  • Receipt for his most recent ground rent payment
  • A payment to redeem the ground rent (almost always nine times your annual ground rent) including an amount to bring his ground rent up to date – ie to pay off the arrears between his last ground rent payment and today
  • A copy of his lease certified by the bank who hold the deeds

This is where we learned first-hand just how thorough Land & Property Services are, as they replied swiftly advising the following was needed to complete the application:

  • The lease needed to be certified
  • The form to be signed by himself and witnessed by a solicitor
  • £50 land registration fee
  • Payment of ground rent arrears

The solicitor’s signature was a simple oversight that Norman quickly rectified. 

However, having provided a certified lease and a payment which was more than sufficient to cover redemption plus arrears and fees, we contacted Barbara McVeigh at LPS directly on his behalf for clarification. She promptly came back with clear explanations:

  • The lease needs to be stamped by a solicitor or mortgage company to prove this is the actual copy and not a forgery.
  • £50 land registration fee is not mentioned on the GR1 form and is not included on the guidance notes either – but because it is mentioned on the website they do not include this in form guidance notes.
  • Ground Rent arrears – payment goes directly to the current leaseholder or ground rent manager.

Above: My thanks to Barbara McVeigh for efficient and thorough work on this ground rent redemption.


Norman took the following actions:

  • Got his application form signed and his lease certified by a solicitor
  • Contacted the ground management company to pay his arrears and get an up-to-date receipt
  • Sent it all back with £50 land registration fee + a cheque for his ground redemption

On 13th February Norman contacted us to say he was the proud owner of a Certificate of Redemption!

Despite hitting a couple of hiccups, the process took less than 4 weeks from initial application to completion, and we have to say - the team at the LPS Ground Rent office are helpful, approachable and efficient in their work.

So, the takeaway lessons are:

  • Get your solicitor to certify your lease and sign your application
  • Pay any arrears directly to your ground rent manager – then get a receipt
  • Two payments go to LPS - £50 Land Registration Fee and Ground Rent Redemption (usually ground rent x 9)
  • If in doubt – check the guidance notes AND the website. Or phone the team directly!


This is exactly why I started this blog. I’ve been in property for over 20 years, and putting all that knowledge and experience into articles that not only interest people but actually empower them to do things – well, that is something I find really satisfying.

Seeing people using the information we publish to their advantage is why we write this blog. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if there’s something you’d like us to write or do to help you today.