Leaseholders should get better deal under new proposals

by Richard Mathews



Published on 21st September 2018

A series of radical reforms are on the cards, to provide a better deal for leaseholders who want to purchase the freehold or to extend the lease of their home.Leaseholders

The Law Commission is currently looking at proposals that would:

  • Make the process (known as “enfranchisement”) easier, cheaper and quicker
  • Improve and enhance the rights of leaseholders to buy their freehold or extend their lease
  • Introduce a simpler unified procedure for houses and flats
  • Remove limitations on the right to enfranchise, including the requirement that leaseholders must have owned their property for two years before making a claim.

In addition, at the government’s request, the Law Commission has provided options to reduce the price payable by leaseholders to buy the freehold or extend their lease while ensuring sufficient compensation is paid to landlords to reflect their legitimate property interests.

The proposals, which are now open for consultation until 20 November, should save leaseholders time, stress and money, reducing legal costs and helping to prevent unnecessary disputes.

Law Commissioner Professor Nick Hopkins said: “The current system is complex, slow and expensive and it’s failing homeowners. Many feel that they are having to pay twice to own their home.

“Our proposals would make it easier and cheaper to buy the freehold or extend the lease of their home, ensuring the system works for ordinary homeowners across the country.

“We want to hear views from across the spectrum on how this complicated area of law can be improved.”

Current system for leaseholders

The current system has been widely criticised as being too costly and difficult for leasehold homeowners. It is also seen as overly complicated, being the product of over 50 Acts of Parliament, totalling hundreds of pages. For example, there are different rules for leaseholders of houses and flats.

The property law team here at Optimum think anything that can be done to simplify the housing sector, to make it easier for leaseholders, has to be welcome.

We can help with any area of property law – buying or selling houses, leasing, or landlord and tenant issues. Please get in touch with the team for a chat.

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