Leasehold: Fees and Charges

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 11th June 2019.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timeframe is for the publication of legislative proposal to reform the charges levied on the owners of leasehold properties; and whether that legislation include reform of the charges levied on freeholders.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for leaseholders and residential freeholders and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.

The Government believes that service charges should be transparent, communicated effectively and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong. That is why we have established a working group chaired by Lord Best to raise standards across the property sector and consider how fees such as service charges should be presented to consumers and to explore the best means to challenge fees which are unjustified. The group is instructed to report back to Government in July 2019.

The Government will legislate to ensure that freeholders who pay charges for the maintenance of communal areas and facilities on a private or mixed use estate, can access equivalent rights as leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of service charges.

The Government intends to bring forward the legislation to make these changes as soon as parliamentary time allows.

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