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Leasehold Reform Bill passes first Commons stage unopposed

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  • 30/11/2021
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Leasehold Reform Bill passes first Commons stage unopposed
The Leasehold Reform Bill, which aims to limit ground rents on long residential leases, has passed the first stage of the House of Commons unopposed, bringing it one step closer to becoming law.

 

The bill was debated at a second reading in the House of Commons yesterday and has been sent to a public bill committee which will scrutinise the bill and report back to the House by 9 December.

There will be a third reading in the House of Commons, before the bill goes into the final stages where amendments are considered and then it is given royal assent and passed.

Eddie Hughes, under secretary of the state for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said that the bill will put an end to ground rents for new residential leasehold properties.

He added: “The bill’s provisions will lead to fairer, more transparent homeownership for thousands of future leaseholders. Leaseholders pay ground rent on top of their property purchase price and service charges, yet there’s no clear service provided in return.”

Jonathan Frankel, litigation partner at Cavendish Legal Group, said: “It is incredibly positive that the Leasehold Reform Bill has passed its first stage in the Commons unopposed. It clearly shows the direction of travel away from exorbitant leasehold rents, down to nothing.

“Anyone buying a new property now also has the reassurance that developers can only charge a peppercorn rent on all new leasehold properties, which is effectively zero.”

He added: “The same applies to anyone extending their leasehold under the statutory route in that they will be able to reduce the amount they pay to next to nothing. This is currently subject to a two-year ownership provision. Whether that onerous condition stays put through the parliamentary reforms remains to be seen.

“The government now needs to go a step further and introduce nothing more than a peppercorn leasehold rent for all existing leaseholds.”

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