Mon 27 Nov 2023
The Bill aims to make it cheaper and easier for existing leaseholders in houses and flats to extend their lease or buy their freehold.
It is also hoped that reforms will make these types of properties easier to sell.
The Bill will increase the standard lease extension term from 90 years to 990 years for both houses and flats, with ground rent reduced to £0 and remove the requirement for a new leaseholder to have owned their house or flat for two years before they can benefit from these changes.
There will also be a maximum time and fee for the provision of information required to make a sale such as building insurance or financial records to a leaseholder by their freeholder and more transparency over charges.
Additionally, the Bill will scrap the presumption that leaseholders pay their freeholders’ legal costs.
Ahead of the Bill’s introduction, Housing Secretary, Michael Gove said: “People work hard to own a home. But for far too long too many have been denied the full benefits of ownership through the unfair and outdated leasehold system.
“That’s why liberating leaseholders forms a vital part of the Government’s Long-Term Plan for Housing.
“So today marks a landmark moment for millions of leaseholders across the country, as we unveil laws to deliver significant new rights and protections, slash unfair costs and crack down on exploitation.”
There has been concern about how much this legislation will help existing leaseholders but campaigners have described the Bill as “momentous.”
Katie Kendrick, founder of the National Leasehold Campaign (NLC), said: “The fact this Bill is being introduced so swiftly after the King’s Speech is hugely positive and demonstrates that the Government recognised how important and urgently needed leasehold reform is.
“We hope all those involved work together to ensure there is enough time for the Bill to receive Royal Assent before the next election”.
NLC co-founder Jo Darbyshire added: “As always, the devil will be in the detail of the Bill, but this is a huge step forward for leaseholders. I hope this is the beginning of the end of this feudal system’.