New Clause 3 - Service charges

Part of Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 9 December 2021.

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Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 12:00, 9 December 2021

I thank the hon. Lady for that intervention. There are two sides to that story. The fact that this legislation is being enacted, and the attention that will be drawn to that, will hopefully inform a good number of leaseholders. Also, the possible financial penalty—up to £30,000—should act as a significant deterrent for the freeholders, who are much more likely to be well informed and will hopefully be severely deterred by that. As the description of rent is so wide-ranging—it includes anything in the nature of rent—they will well understand that, should they be challenged at tribunal, they would likely be found out.

Given the two sides of that equation, there is good reason for us to be confident that nobody will try to introduce rents through the back door. On that note, I once again ask the hon. Member for Weaver Vale to withdraw the new clause.