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Leasehold reform bill passes second reading

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill passed its second reading in Parliament last night.

Housing minister Lee Rowley pledged that the legislation would offer comprehensive reform and lead to a better system in the long term that levels the playing field and empowers people.

It came after hours of debate in the House of Commons where MPs expressed concerns that the Bill excluded a previously-promised plan to ban leasehold houses and didn't address stopping leaseholds on new flats.


Labour MPs also expressed concerns at how long the reforms have taken to hit the parliamentary agenda and that there isn’t support for introducing commonhold as an alternative form of tenure automatically on new-build homes.

The legislation will now enter committee stage where it is hoped that a ban on leasehold sales of houses will be introduced.

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.

  • Desmond Rowson

    Another problem in the offing, MPs who know nothing of the workings in Government are about to cause a mega problem with this Leasehold/ freehold bill. The owner of the properties in Downing Street and Oxford Street and Regent Street along with many other properties in the UK are going to be forced to sell a Freehold ad get taxed 40% or 45% on the profit of sale. Do they think this is a vote catcher because how many people can afford to buy the Freehold of their properties. Leasehold properties sell because they are cheaper. What does the Crown Estates think of this piece of Legislation.


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