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Conveyancing Association supports increase of ‘non-residential limit’ for leasehold

  • 25/02/2022
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Conveyancing Association supports increase of ‘non-residential limit’ for leasehold
The Conveyancing Association (CA) said it supported government proposals which recommend increasing the non-residential limit within buildings from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.

This was part of the trade body’s formal response to the consultation – Reforming the leasehold and commonhold systems in England and Wales.

This change will allow leaseholders in buildings with up to 50 per cent non-residential floorspace to buy their freehold or claim a right to manage.

The government consultation ended on 22 February and sought views on proposed reforms to the leasehold and commonhold system.

It followed recommendations published by the Law Commission in July 2020 which looked at broadening access to buying freeholds, the right to manage a building or converting to commonhold. 

The CA believes these changes will provide leaseholders with greater choice “especially where they feel exploited by the freeholder or the managing agent”. It does not believe there should be exemptions for any individuals, organisations or types of properties to this increase to 50 per cent.

It also supported recommendations that allow leaseholders to require a landlord take on leases for any non-participating units following a collective enfranchisement; introducing a non-residential limit for individual freehold acquisitions; and changes to voting rights in the right to manage companies.

The association also called for the scrapping of the Commonhold Unit Information Certificate (CUIC), which only provides the amount of maintenance payment which is required from the property owner, and the development of a CPE1 form to be delivered for the sale of a unit within a commonhold building. 

Beth Rudolf, (pictured) director of delivery at The Conveyancing Association, said it was important to allow existing leaseholders to pursue their enfranchisement rights, and provide them with a much fairer system which includes greater levels of choice and control.

She added: “At present, as we know, many leaseholders are stuck in limbo and it is therefore imperative that such proposals become law in order to help extricate them from their situation and to deliver fairness for the future.

“We have long supported a move away from leasehold to commonhold and we also need this to be fit for purpose in order to ensure commonhold is an available option and we provide the right environment for it to flourish in the future.”

Timothy Douglas, had of policy and campaigns for Propertymark said it had always advocated  making enfranchisement easier and a simplification of the process for lease extensions.

He added: “This can give people more control over where they live and help make their property easier to sell. The UK Government is looking to improve commonhold so it can provide an alternative to leasehold, avoiding the problem of the lease expiring, and another way of people being able to own their home.”

“What’s key is the need to reduce the expense and complexity of converting to commonhold as well as ensuring that owners are fully aware of what a commonhold association entails and they agree to enforce any rules.”


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