Law Commission’s intentions to reform Leasehold Enfranchisement
The Law Commission has issued a consultation paper on leasehold enfranchisement reform, labelled: “Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease”.
The proposals key intentions are to:
- provide a better deal for leaseholders by making enfranchisement easier, quicker and more cost effective
- reform the existing rights of leaseholders, including removing the separate rules for houses and for flats
- simplify, and reduce the legal and other costs of, the procedure for acquiring a freehold or an extended lease
The new proposals suggest an intention to introduce a simple formula to calculate the cost of enfranchisement. The proposals would protect Leaseholders from being overcharged whilst ensuring the Landlord receives sufficient compensation. The consultation also proposes the introduction of prescribed forms for the making of and responding to any enfranchisement claims. This will prevent Landlords being able to capitalise on mistakes made by Leaseholders during the enfranchisement process.
What the experts say
Law Commissioner Professor Nick Hopkins said:
“Enfranchisement offers a route out of leasehold but the law is failing homeowners: it’s complex and expensive, and leads to unnecessary conflict, costs and delay.
“We’ve heard of untold stress caused to homeowners who have had to put their lives on hold because of issues with their leases.
“Clearly, that’s not right, and our solutions for leasehold houses will provide a better deal for leaseholders and make sure that the law works in the best interests of house owners.”
Secretary of State for Communities the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:
“This government is committed to tackling the unfair leasehold practices that exploit homeowners.
“We have already announced radical new measures to ban leaseholds for almost all new build houses and reduced rents to a peppercorn.
“I welcome these proposals by the Law Commission that will help homeowners get a fair deal.”
For more information on the radical new proposals highlighted in the consultation paper please visit The Law Commission website.