Mark Chick, ALEP Director, and Partner and Bishop & Sewell
"The Law Commission has proposed a number of options to improve the leasehold houses market including: to reduce the premium payable by leaseholders to extend their lease or purchase the freehold of their property, to introduce the right for leaseholders of houses to purchase longer lease extensions without a ground rent, and to remove technical barriers that prevent some leaseholders of houses from exercising their right to enfranchise.
"The announcement is encouraging, and the reforms suggested by the Law Commission will make an important contribution towards the Government's stated objective to improve transparency and fairness in the residential leasehold sector. It is also clear that the Law Commission will seek to balance leaseholders' rights with the interests of freeholders, to ensure that sufficient compensation is paid to landlords where leasehold house owners pursue enfranchisement.
In addition, the Law Commission announced that it will launch a detailed consultation on a new enfranchisement regime for leasehold houses and flats in September, before publishing its final report in 2019.
"The success of the Law Commission's reform agenda relies on collecting evidence on which to base its proposals to Government. As the leading association for enfranchisement practitioners ALEP will be contacting all its members to explain the importance of the Law Commission's forthcoming consultation and urge them to take part."