Leasehold Reform: King’s Speech update

This weekend a number of options for leasehold reform were outlined in the press, and subsequently confirmed by Housing minister Rachel Maclean as due to appear in the King’s Speech on 7 November.

Mark Chick, ALEP Director, comments:

We are pleased to hear confirmation that the Government intends to introduce a Leasehold Bill in next week’s King’s Speech as this brings an end to much speculation.

But we urge caution; leasehold is an extremely complex aspect of property law. It has been in place for centuries and impacts on almost five million individuals and it is therefore vital that the introduction of any Bill is more than a headline-grabber. The Government must consult widely and create robust legislation which addresses the significant issues which exist to the detriment of both consumers and practitioners.

We do not wish to see a repeat of some of the issues that have arisen following the recent Building Safety Act – new legislation incompatible with existing legislation, which results in complexity, cost and uncertainty.

The Government has reportedly said that the new Bill will ban the creation of new leasehold houses. We also expect it to use the Leasehold Bill to abolish ‘marriage value’ – an additional charge payable by the leaseholder when extending has fallen below 80 years. Also cited is the intention to remove the need for the condition of a two-year period of ownership – something ALEP originally proposed in 2008. 

Previously ALEP has been pleased to advise ministers and officials about leasehold reform and we hope that our members’ wide-ranging expertise will be sought – and reflected –  in this new legislation as it emerges.