Support for leasehold
Leaseholders living in mixed-use buildings cannot currently enfranchise or claim a right to manage if 25 per cent or more of their building’s floor space is utilised for non-residential units. The UK Government wants to increase this limit to 50 per cent, as it believes it would enable more leaseholders to buy their freehold or take over management of their building.
New plans by the UK Government would reduce the price paid by leaseholders for a freehold by requiring landlords to retain an interest in any units not participating in the enfranchisement claim, with additional proposals in the consultation aiming to make it cheaper for leaseholders to collectively buy their freehold.
Thousands of homeowners are stuck in leasehold houses they cannot afford to continue living in and cannot sell. We surveyed over 1,000 people who bought a leasehold house to explore the extent of the scandal which has left thousands of Brits trapped in leases leases with third parties.
A ‘mandatory leaseback’ would require landlords to keep a lease on some properties in the building, reducing the cost of a collective buyout of their building, making buying their freehold affordable for more leaseholders.
Support for commonhold
The UK Government is also calling for views on changes to support greater use of commonhold as an alternative form of homeownership to leasehold – including for those in Shared Ownership schemes in England.
The commonhold model allows homeowners to collectively own the building their flat is in from the outset, with a greater say on their building’s management, shared facilities and related costs.
Consumers and providers of Shared Ownership homes are now being invited to have their say on how decision-making in commonhold blocks could operate under the new Shared Ownership model, in England.
The consultation is running for six weeks until 22 February 2022, and Propertymark members can respond directly or send views and opinions to Propertymark’s Policy and Campaigns Team.
Leasehold reform (Groundrent) Bill
In addition to these reforms, the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill is currently making its way through Parliament. Once passed the legislation will put an end to ground rents for most new residential leasehold properties as part of the most significant changes to property law in a generation.
Furthermore, as well as limiting ground rent to a peppercorn for most new residential leases, provisions in the Bill also mean that when a leaseholder extends their lease using the non-statutory process, the ground rent they pay on the extended term will be limited to a peppercorn.