The National Association of Estate Agents has given broad support for radical proposals from the Law Commission to end leasehold abuse following a string of controversial cases.
Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive, says he hopes the proposals - released in the form of a consultation document - “will result in a robust solution for all those affected and who are unable to sell their homes.”
The Law Commission reforms include making the enfranchisement process easier, cheaper and quicker; improving and enhancing the rights of leaseholders to buy their freehold or extend their leases; introducing “a simpler unified procedure” for houses and flats; and removing limitations on the right to enfranchise, including the requirement that leaseholders must have owned their property for two years before making a claim.
In addition, at the government’s request, the Commission has provided options to reduce the price payable by leaseholders to buy the freehold or extend their lease while ensuring sufficient compensation is paid to landlords to reflect their legitimate property interests.
The current system has been accused of being overly complicated - it is the product of over 50 Acts of Parliament.
“The government is committed to banning leaseholds for almost all new build houses and restricting ground rents to a peppercorn. It’s also unacceptable for leaseholders who want to buy their freehold or extend their lease to be faced with overly complicated processes and disproportionate costs” says housing minister Heather Wheeler.
The consultation runs until November 20 and you can see it here.