By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


'A muted win' – leasehold reform bill passes

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill was the final piece of legislation to pass before Parliament closed ahead of the General Election on July 4.

It has been described as a “muted win” as while the law introduces more transparency on charges and a ban on leasehold houses, there wasn’t enough time to include a cap on existing ground rents.

Proposals to include agency regulations as part of the legislation also failed.


Founder of the National Leasehold Campaign Katie Kendrick said it was a “real missed opportunity” that the Government did not manage to introduce a cap on ground rents, something they repeatedly promised but failed to deliver.

Co-founder Cath Williams, added: “There is lots to celebrate in the bill, most notably the removal of marriage value. This will save leaseholders with less than 80 years on their lease thousands of pounds in lease extension fees. We have had lots of comments in our campaign group who are crying with joy. This is truly life-changing for leaseholders with short leases.”

There is a chance that secondary legislation could be introduced to bring in a ground rent cap and improve the law but that will depend on the new Government’s priorities.

Linz Darlington, managing director of leasehold extensions specialists, Homehold, said: "This limited bill is a muted win for leaseholders. While the legislation is not without merit, leaseholders must see it as a step in a journey rather than the destination itself.

"The bill does not contain many of the important provisions that were promised by the Government. The commitment to remove ground rent for existing leaseholders, or even cap it at £250, has not been included. 

"Another notable omission from the bill is the prevention of forfeiture, a draconian measure that allows a freeholder to repossess a flat for a debt of just £350.

"Frustratingly, most of the changes which have been included will not come into effect immediately or even within a specified timeline. These included-but-delayed changes include banning leasehold houses, and also abolishing marriage value which could make it cheaper for leaseholders with fewer than 80 years left to extend their leases.”

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, added: “The recently passed leasehold legislation is far from perfect, but it is the start of reform to outdated legislation that was not fit for purpose.  

“Once implemented the new laws will make it more commonplace to extend a lease and information about leasehold property will be made more transparent, which will make buying, selling and renting leasehold property easier. 

“However, the legislation is a missed opportunity to tackle some key issues. Propertymark argued that the legislation needed to go further to incorporate the recommendations for the Regulation of Property Agents. At a time where building safety regulations have increased and become more complex, it is shortsighted that policy makers were unwilling to see the benefit to consumers of qualifying and licensing the competency of those who work in the property sector."

  • icon

    The main issue with leasehold flats is escalating ground rents and those that are over £250 per annum. This is only a small step affecting a small percentage of properties rather than the sweeping reform that it should have been. Gove leaves with a fizzle.

  • Lenny White

    A pointless waste of time.

  • icon

    "there wasn’t enough time to include a cap on existing ground rents." well what a surprise...


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up