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Leasehold Reform

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For the past few years, the Government has shown substantial commitment towards reforming the residential leasehold sector to tackle ‘corrupt’ and ‘unjustified’ practices. Due to forward thinking government plans, could 2020 finally be the year we see a fairer system for Leaseholders?

Over several years, it appears that some parts of the residential leasehold system have become unfair with some leaseholders facing high and escalating ground rents, making it harder for them to sell or re mortgage their homes. This is one of the main problems with the current leasehold system along with the increasing number of leasehold houses, substandard property management and disproportionate costs for owners to extend their leases. It also seems that some charges being requested under Leases may be excessively high or are being imposed for permissions and administration fees where they may not be properly required.

2020 could see the government and the law commission looking into;

  • Investigating ways to make commonhold more attractive and workable. Commonhold is an alternative form of ownership to leasehold. A commonhold owner owns their property outright, with the rest of the building or estate within the commonhold being owned and managed with other owners through a commonhold association.
  • Ban long leases on new build houses and existing freehold houses other than in certain circumstances, such as shared ownership properties.
  • Extend the right to manage to freeholders of homes on estates where they pay service charges which would mean that they can take control and improve their surrounding areas whenever and however they are needed
  • Abolish ground rents or have a simple structure and a low, transparent rate to protect consumers
  • Improve access to enfranchisement, making the process quicker, easier and more cost effective

If you own a leasehold property or you are thinking of buying or selling then please contact our property team on 01388 604691 or email .  Whether you require conveyancing services or simply need some advice on freehold or leasehold properties then we will be more than happy to assist.

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