Moved by Lord Young of Cookham
282C: After Clause 226, insert the following new Clause—“Qualifying leases under the Building Safety Act 2022After section 119 of the Building Safety Act 2022 (meaning of “qualifying lease” and “the qualifying time”), insert—“119A Variation, surrender or regrant of qualifying leases(1) A qualifying lease varied, or subject to any surrender and regrant, remains a qualifying lease.(2) This section has effect in relation to any qualifying lease varied, or subject to any surrender and regrant, before the coming into force of this section.(3) Any agreement contrary to this section is void, whether made before or after the coming into force of this section.”” Member's explanatory statementThis section fixes a gap in the Building Safety Act 2022 to ensure qualifying leases retain their protection if the leaseholder enters into a deed of variation, or exercises statutory lease extension or enfranchisement rights.
My Lords, I am grateful to all those who took part in the debate some hours ago about protecting leaseholders. I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Howe for what he said—that proposals will be brought forward shortly to help those blocks that have enfranchised. My noble friend said that I would greet with a sigh his rejection of my amendment, and he was quite right. I say in return that his heart must have sunk when he read his brief and saw the less than convincing reply he had been equipped with to rebut my amendment.
In a nutshell, the Government made a mistake when they drafted the Building Safety Act. Unwittingly, they have removed the protection that some leaseholders were entitled to. They have known for months that there has been this defect, and I do not accept that the defect is so complex that it cannot now be put right. That is what my amendment does. I seek leave to test the opinion of the House.
Ayes 153, Noes 134.