The Law Commission has published its terms of reference for its Residential Leasehold Law Reform project, but cautioned that it is likely to be many years before legislative reforms are brought before Parliament.
The document sets out the terms for a wide-ranging review of leasehold law and the Commission has announced its intention to:
- Look at ways to reduce the price paid by existing and future leaseholders when enfranchising
- Make it easier, quicker and more cost effective for leaseholders to enfranchise
- Produce options for a simpler, clearer and consistent valuation methodology
Mark Chick, ALEP Director, and Partner and Bishop & Sewell commented:
“The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) welcomes the Law Commission’s Terms of Reference, which relate to the future of residential leasehold and commonhold.
The Terms of Reference set out policy objectives identified by Government for the Law Commission’s Thirteenth Programme of Law Reform. These include more transparency and fairness in the residential leasehold sector, and better deals for leaseholders as consumers. Commonhold is another area to be re-examined and the Law Commission will look at how to implement it as a workable alternative to leasehold – for both new and existing homes.
The Terms of Reference highlight the intricacies of leasehold and commonhold, and it is clear that better education is needed – particularly for those starting their careers who may need additional support in navigating the complexities of leasehold enfranchisement.
ALEP’s ethos is about promoting best practice and all members are encouraged to uphold standards within the enfranchisement sector. Coming together for regular member events throughout the year enables members to discuss topical issues – for example, commonhold was the subject of our February Lecture.
It is a positive step that the Government and Law Commission are progressing the reforms, and ALEP will continue to play an intrinsic role in further consultation and discussions regarding the implementation of these.
Solutions for leasehold houses are due to be published by the Government before the end of July, with a detailed consultation on a new enfranchisement regime for leasehold houses and flats taking place in September.
We eagerly await updates and the final report which is due to be published in 2019.”
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Mark Chick is a Partner and Head of the Landlord & Tenant team at Bishop & Sewell. To discuss any of the issues raised in this article or leasehold matters generally, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bishopandsewell.co.uk.