MPs have announced plans to prepare the housing market for a move from leasehold to commonhold ownership.
The move could save those with shorter leases thousands of pounds.
Former council tenants who bought their homes in the 1980s are likely to be among those who will benefit.
How will the proposed changes solve the problems with leaseholds?
With a leasehold, the person owns a lease which gives them the right to use the property, but they still have to get their landlord’s permission for any work or changes to the property.
Landlords also charge leasehold house owners ground rent as well as fees if they want to make changes to their homes.
Currently, owners of leasehold houses have the right to extend their lease only once for 50 years and they must pay escalating ground rent.
Under the plans, ministers propose to give leasehold property owners the right to extend their lease to a maximum term of 990 years at zero ground rent.
The changes could also make it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy the freehold of their property.
A Commonhold Council
Under its proposed reforms, the government will establish a council made up of leaseholders, government officials, and property industry professionals to prepare the market for the widespread take-up of commonhold.
Ministers hope that the changes will allow leaseholders to buy their freehold or extend their lease without incurring huge fees.
The housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “Across the country people are struggling to realise the dream of owning their own home but find the reality of being a leaseholder far too bureaucratic, burdensome and expensive. We want to reinforce the security that home ownership brings by changing for ever the way we own homes and end some of the worst practices faced by homeowners.
“These reforms provide fairness for 4.5 million leaseholders and chart a course to a new system altogether.”
Campaigners for leasehold reform have welcomed the proposals.