Ground rent ban still missing from Leasehold Reform Bill

Concerns were raised about the absence of central elements of the promised reforms when the Bill was first introduced to Parliament in November 2023. The UK Government said it would bring in amendments as it made its way through the Parliamentary process, but whilst a ban on new leasehold houses is now added, Housing Minister Lee Rowley, MP, stated restrictions on ground rent are still being considered.

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Agent regulation amendment rejected

During the debate in the House of Commons, Matthew Pennycook, MP, reiterated an amendment which would lead to the implementation of the Regulation of Property Agents working group report within 24 months of the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill becoming law.

This has been rejected, with the housing minister stating that it was a significant area which needed further consideration.

The UK Government has previously said it is committed to introducing the recommendations made by the Regulation of Property Agents working group, published in 2019, but little progress has been made.

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18 Jan 2024
Shadow minister and leasehold leader echo Propertymark call for agent regulation

Powers for residents in managed estates

New clauses added at the Third Reading will enable residents to take ownership of the management company or its assets if it fails to respond to correspondence, doesn’t provide budgets and accounts, or does not give residents the chance to attend an annual meeting.

They will also be able to claim compensation or alternative accommodation where it is not reasonable for them to remain in their homes due to defects caused or left unremedied for an unreasonable length of time by an estate manager.

Further protections and redress for homeowners

124 amendments have been agreed, many of which were minor and technical, but substantive additions included:

  • new redress schemes for leaseholders and freeholders on private or mixed-tenure estates
  • the right for freeholders on estates to apply to the tribunal to appoint a substitute manager where their estate management company is failing
  • measures to ensure that relevant property sales information is provided to leaseholders and freeholders on estates on time
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22 Jan 2024
Solving leasehold injustice could have bigger benefits

After passing its Third Reading in the House of Commons on 27 February 2024 the Bill will now move to the House of Lords, where further amendments can be proposed.

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30 Jan 2024
Communicating correctly about leasehold properties