Extend right to manage to all leaseholders, says Law Society

Moves to make it easier for leaseholders to take control of their freeholds through Right to Manage have been broadly welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales, in response to the Law Commission consultation today.

The government asked the Law Commission to review right to manage ('RTM') legislation to make it simpler, quicker and more accessible for leaseholders. The consultation makes provisional proposals for reform to current RTM legislation.

The consultation paper discusses the problems with the current law including: restrictive criteria, such as the inability of an RTM company to manage multiple blocks on an estate, the exclusion of premises with more than 25% non-residential space, and the exclusion of leasehold houses from the right to seek RTM.

RTM was introduced by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, to give leaseholders the right to acquire the freehold to their building.

“Exercising the right to manage is rightly regarded as overly-technical, too slow, restrictive, uncertain and expensive. The Law Commission proposals are consistent with the need to make this process more efficient,” said Christina Blacklaws, president of the Law Society of England and Wales.

“Leasehold reform is a complex and important task, and it’s clear there are significant issues with the law as it now stands. At present, only owners of flats have the right to manage. With the increase in the numbers of leasehold houses that have been sold, it is important that certain rights are extended to owners of leasehold houses.

“The issues of unfair leaseholds, enfranchisement, commonhold and right to manage are interrelated, so it is important the government takes an appropriately comprehensive view when considering changes.”

Notes to editors

The Law Society represents a wide range of property practitioners, including members acting for buyers and sellers of leasehold properties, new build properties, and in the second-hand market; lessors, lessees, managing agents, residents’ associations, developers, investors and lenders.

The Law Society also has a role in supporting law reform in the public interest.

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: Liam McCafferty | liam.mccafferty@lawsociety.org.uk | 020 8049 4028

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