Leasehold & Freehold Reform Bill

November 8, 2023

The UK Government has now outlined its priorities for the months ahead at the State Opening of Parliament. These include a ban on new leasehold houses in England and Wales.

Leasehold and Freehold Bill in England and Wales

An introduction of a Bill will make it cheaper and easier for leaseholders in houses and flats to buy their freehold –- so that leaseholders pay less to gain security over the future of their home.

It will increase the standard lease extension term from 90 years to 990 years for both houses and flats, with ground rent reduced to £0 ensuring leaseholders can enjoy secure, ground rent-free ownership without the hassle and expense of future lease extensions.

The removal of the requirement for a new leaseholder to have owned their house or flat for two years before they can benefit from these changes will be included.

Increasing the 25% ‘non-residential’ limit preventing leaseholders in buildings with a mixture of homes and other uses such as shops and offices, from buying their freehold or taking over management of their buildings – to allow leaseholders in buildings with up to 50% non-residential floorspace to buy their freehold or take over its management.

Other consumer rights and protections in the Bill include:

  • Setting a maximum time and fee for the provision of information required to make a sale to a leaseholder by their freeholder
  • Requiring transparency over service charges
  • Removing building insurance commissions for managing agents
  • Extending redress schemes for leaseholders to challenge poor practice

Building on measures in the Building Safety Act 2022 to ensure freeholders and developers can’t escape liability for remediation work.

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