Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 1st June 2021.

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Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to make it easier and cheaper for existing leaseholders to extend to 999 years or purchase the freehold.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Under the current system, too many leaseholders find the process for extending their lease or buying their freehold (a process known as enfranchisement) too complex, lacking transparency and prohibitively expensive.

Through our reforms, the length of a statutory lease extension will increase to 990 years, from 90 years (for flats) and 50 years (for houses). Leaseholders will be able to extend their lease with zero ground rent on payment of a premium.

We will also reform the process of enfranchisement valuation that leaseholders must follow to calculate the cost of extending their lease or buying their freehold. The Government will abolish marriage value, cap the treatment of ground rents at 0.1% of the freehold value, and prescribe rates for the calculations at market value. The Government will also introduce an online calculator, further simplifying the process for leaseholders and ensuring standardisation and fairness for all those looking to enfranchise. These changes to the enfranchisement valuation process will result in substantial savings for some leaseholders, particularly those with less than 80 years left on their lease.

Our leasehold reform measures will be translated into law as soon as possible, starting with the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill, which was introduced into Parliament on 12 May. This Bill will be the first part of major two-part legislation to implement leasehold and commonhold reforms in this Parliament.

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