The Conveyancing Association calls on government to act quickly on leasehold reform

The Conveyancing Association calls on government to act quickly on leasehold reform

 

The measures called-for include a maximum fee of £200 and a two-week delivery for the Leasehold Property Enquiry 1 form and banning the sale of leasehold houses.

Other measures the association have called for are the capping of existing ground rents to prevent them becoming assured shorthold tenancies, the right to extend leases by 990 years and removing marriage and development value from lease enfranchisement calculations.

In the Queen’s Speech in May the government introduced the Leasehold Reform Bill, or the Ground Rent Bill, and outlined various measures that would curb practices which led to “onerous and escalating ground rents” for future leaseholders.

The government has also supported the Law Commission’s report in July that leaseholders should be allowed to convert their property to a commonhold if they are dissatisfied with their lease administrator. It has set up a Commonhold Council to see how this would be delivered to the consumer.

According to the government website, a report on the bill is due to be given by Lord Greenhalgh on 20 July, which will give members of the House of Lords time to examine and make amendments to the bill.

The Conveyancing Association’s director of delivery Beth Rudolf said: “There may be an assumption that while the noise has died down around leasehold a lot, the problems have gone away.

“That is certainly not the case, and we now need to maintain the momentum that has been built up and finally get solutions to these problems on the statute book. Especially when we are so close and agreement appears to be unanimous right across the industry.”

She continued: “We can make such a difference to the lives of leaseholders by getting these promises delivered and we are urging the government to move as quickly as it can to do this.”

She noted that the Ground Rent Bill was the “first step in the right direction” to prevent new leaseholds being used as a financial asset class, but it did not help old leases which had more onerous terms which made them difficult to sell. but whilst this will prevent new leaseholds being used as an ongoing financial asset class.

Rudolf concluded: “We should be creating a positive home moving experience for all.”