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17 May 2024
Insistence on higher cladding standards is delaying sales

Propertymark has written to Housing Minister Lee Rowley, MP, to highlight a growing trend for insurers to decline or charge more for cover on properties that have been remediated within the funding limits provided by the UK Government, leading to more costs for hard-pressed leaseholders.

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13 May 2024
Proposals to scrap lease renewal rules under discussion

The Scottish Law Commission has opened a consultation on the Tenancy of Shops (Scotland) Act 1949, which deals with commercial lease renewals for retail, food and drink, hair and beauty and wholesale tenants. They are seeking the views of agents, tenants, and landlords on whether there is still a need for the Act, and whether it should be repealed, replaced, or reformed.

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10 May 2024
Leaseholders to get access to free legal advice

The Welsh Government has launched a new scheme to help support leaseholders in medium and high-rise buildings affected by fire safety issues in Wales. Launched on 10 May 2024, the scheme offers free and bespoke legal advice to help resolve potential disputes.

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09 May 2024
Ground rent reforms at risk of being diluted after resistance from Treasury

Over 30 Conservative MPs have written to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt expressing concern that plans for reform are being weakened as the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill progresses through parliament. In particular, and despite a promise in the 2019 Conservative manifesto, it is now expected that ground rents will be capped at £250 per year instead of being cut to zero.

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01 Mar 2024
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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30 Jan 2024
Communicating correctly about leasehold properties

If the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill becomes law, it’s expected that the sales market for leasehold properties will be reinvigorated. Leasehold is a complex area and can be intimidating for agents and consumers, so what are the fundamentals of the current situation, and how will this change if the Bill is introduced?

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22 Jan 2024
Solving leasehold injustice could have bigger benefits

The UK Government should take advantage of the momentum in leasehold reform to stamp out ground rents, invigorate property sales, and promote professional management of leasehold property by qualified and regulated agents.

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

Matthew Pennycook, MP, has put forward an amendment which would lead to implementation of the Regulation of Property Agents working group report within 24 months of the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill becoming law, whilst Martin Boyd, Chair of the Leasehold Advisory Service, lent his full support to the statutory regulation of agents, stating that it is ‘simply wrong’ that there are no qualification requirements for private sector property managers.

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15 Jan 2024
Updated building safety rules should not leave existing flats behind

The Welsh Government intends to build on changes made in 2018 when the use of some combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings was banned. The current proposals look at a range of new materials to be covered, extend the types of buildings, include buildings between 11 and 18 metres in height and include new regulations about emergency systems and procedures.

Inside apartment window view of young man smiling and answering emails from home
21 Dec 2023
More mortgage choice for those affected by building safety issues

Virgin Money, TSB and Skipton Building Society will now consider applications for properties in buildings that are yet to be remediated, or where leaseholders are protected from remediation costs, however, buildings that are excluded from such protections do not benefit.

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12 Dec 2023
Success of leasehold reform rests on fundamental amendments

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill passed its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 11 December 2023 and was broadly welcomed with cross-party support, despite criticism that it does not go far enough.

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04 Dec 2023
Updated plans on high-rise safety designed to reassure lenders

There is a confirmed route to remediation for all buildings over 11 metres in Wales, with ten major UK developers already lined up to complete fire safety works. Alongside new cladding valuation guidance expected from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), these plans demonstrate to valuers and lenders that essential work can be carried out at no cost to leaseholders.

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27 Nov 2023
Leasehold and Freehold Bill starts progress through UK Parliament

A ban on new leasehold houses and limits on ground rent for new flats are contained in the long-promised and eagerly awaited Bill, and for existing leaseholders, selling should be made quicker and easier.

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10 Nov 2023
Peppercorn rents are the only option to align new and existing leaseholders

A public consultation has opened on proposals to cap ground rents in England and Wales as the UK Government begins its latest action to reform the sector. Legislation is already in place in the Ground Rent Act 2022 to ensure that new residential leases are restricted to a peppercorn ground rent, and this new proposal sets out options to extend this protection to existing leaseholders.

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09 Nov 2023
Prominent brokers pledge to lower leaseholder premiums

Five multi-occupancy building insurance providers have agreed to act on concerns about the value and transparency of commission and commission sharing practices. They have promised to help reduce costs and improve disclosure for residential leaseholders in buildings with fire safety issues.

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07 Nov 2023
RAAC: what private sector agents need to know

School closures made headlines over the summer of 2023, but these are not the only buildings that could be affected by structural issues because of old or badly maintained materials. Property agents need to understand key facts relating to domestic and commercial buildings, especially those who deal with leaseholds.

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