Leasehold: Reform

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 12th November 2020.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government plans to reform leasehold arrangements for existing leaseholders.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government is taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market.

We are working with the Law Commission to make buying a freehold or extending a lease easier, quicker and cheaper, and to reinvigorate the Right to Manage to help empower leaseholders to take on management responsibilities for their properties if they wish to do so. The Law Commission published its first report to Government, on the valuation aspects of enfranchisement, on 9 January 2020 followed on 21 July by its reports on the remaining aspects of enfranchisement and the Right to Manage.

These reports put forward a range of options and recommendations to help existing leaseholders.?The Government will carefully consider the?proposals in the reports and set out next steps in due course.

Further information can be found at https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/leasehold-enfranchisement/ and https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/right-to-manage/.

The Government also asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to conduct an investigation into potential mis-selling of homes and unfair terms in the leasehold sector. On 4 September the CMA announced that it was opening enforcement action focussing on certain practices of four housing developers. The Government has welcomed the CMA action, and wants to see homeowners who have been adversely affected swiftly obtain the justice and redress they deserve.

The CMA has now written to the companies concerned outlining its concerns and requiring information.?The Government is keeping a close eye on this issue and will consider any next steps once the CMA have progressed their enforcement action. Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/leasehold.

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