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Huge shake-up of leasehold proposed by Law Commission

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Huge shake-up of leasehold proposed by Law Commission

After months of debate and deliberations, the statutory body that works on legal improvements says system needs total overhaul.

Estate agents face major changes to the way leasehold properties are described, managed and sold following the publication this morning of radical proposals by the Law Commission, whose job it is to recommend to government when legal processes should be overhauled.

The Commission’s separate reports on key areas of property ownership – leasehold enfranchisement, the right to manage and commonhold – recommend reforms of the leasehold system and its replacement with a revived commonhold tenure.

Professor Nick Hopkins, Commissioner for property law says: “The leasehold system is not working for millions of homeowners in England and Wales. We have heard how the current law leaves them feeling like they don’t truly own their home.”

Improvements would make it easier and cheaper for homeowners to buy the freehold or extend their lease, and to take control of the management of their block of flats or an estate.

The Commission suggests that all new lease extensions would be 990 years, instead of the current 90 years for flats and 50 years for houses, and that there should be no ongoing ground rent.


Under its reforms, landlords would not be able to pass on their legal costs during the enfranchisement process.

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4 hours ago, stop_the_craziness said:

The whole concept of Leasehold on houses is a scandal.  And a government-backed scandal at that.

Aye it is, I wonder what else commonhold might entail. I really like the sound of making it easier to buy the freehold, currently if you try and do this you have to pay the legal fees of the freeholder and they could use an expensive solicitor. 

I'm curious to know what effect this will have on house prices, making life harder for developers might squeeze supply but not enough to have any impact on house prices I assume. 

Edited by spacedin
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21 hours ago, spacedin said:

to take control of the management of their block of flats or an estate.

This always sounds good but i've seen the reality of this in a few blocks i've lived in. 

Busybody older residents with time on their hands pushing forward estate rules and tendering for unnecessary work, with the costs split across all flats. 

Any way they repackage leasehold will still mean someone else will have a say over how you live and how much you need to pay this month. Just buy a freehold house further out of town. There's plenty of those around. 

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