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Consultation a welcome chance to clarify leasehold law

25 July 2017

A government consultation on changes to the law governing leasehold properties is a very welcome opportunity to address public concerns, the Law Society of England and Wales said today.

The consultation seeks views on addressing leasehold practices such as disproportionate fees and rapidly rising ground rents.

"While leasehold is a well-established part of English property law, some recent practices which have developed around it are nothing short of exploitative," said Law Society president Joe Egan.

"These often complex and unfair terms can cause huge problems for home buyers.

"Leasehold has long been an effective way to manage properties with shared or communal areas. However, the recent behaviour of some developers, setting excessive ground rents or selling freestanding houses as leasehold not freehold, has left some home buyers in a difficult position.

"We welcome the government looking to put a stop to these practices, and prevent the exploitation of this form of property ownership.

"Our expert committee will now work through the community secretary's proposals to ensure we make the best of this opportunity to improve the operation of leasehold law."

The consultation will run for eight weeks from 25 July and will end on 19 September.

Please take some time either to respond to the online survey directly or let us have your views so that these can be taken into account by the Conveyancing and Land Law Committee in the preparation of the Law Society response by sending your views to property@lawsociety.org.uk. We want to ensure that we make the best of this opportunity to improve the operation of leasehold law.

If you are responding directly and are prepared to let us have a copy of your response this would be much appreciated. Please send copy responses – or extracts from your online response to property@lawsociety.org.uk.

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact:  Oliver Searle | +44 (0)20 7316 5624