As recognised in various media coverage yesterday, the Government is not going to have time to abolish leasehold during the remaining term of this parliament. Our Senior Partner, Mark Chick gives his view here:
‘For those in the know this is not really a surprise as the slightly glib statement made by Mr Gove on ‘Sophie Ridge on Sunday’ on 29th January 2023 (and repeated elsewhere) that he ‘wanted to introduce legislation in the final parliamentary session.. later on this year … in order to change the leasehold system’ didn’t really recognise the enormity of the task. Leasehold law is complex and goes back over several hundred years – it wouldn’t be possible to do away with it ‘in a flash’ … what might be possible is a programme of reform and maybe a ‘subset clause’ for new leaseholds – but this can only happen when Commonhold is made fit for purpose. Best estimates of when that might be are anything from 5 plus years away.
The Government has been looking to roll back on some legislative promises – (the ‘bonfire’ of EU legislation being another example), in recognition no doubt of the size and scale of the task and available time, there is no doubt competition for parliamentary space. However, for those wanting change all is not lost. According to press reports Mr Gove promises to give us further news later on this month as to what reforms might be brought forward during the remaining term of this parliament. We can only speculate as to what these might be, perhaps the long-promised ban on the creation of new leasehold houses, and possibly some further action on ground rents. We will therefore have to wait and see what the announcements later on this month bring, and ultimately, I expect that we will have to wait until the King’s Speech in the autumn to find out what the legislative programme will in fact be.’
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The above is accurate as at 12 May 2023. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times. The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.