Leasehold reforms a step in the right direction but more work to be done

While broadly supporting the measures introduced in the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill there is still work to be done, says the Law Society of England and Wales.

The Bill will have its second reading in the House of Commons today (11 December 2023).

“Once the missing provisions have been included, the Bill could impact millions of homeowners and home buyers in England and Wales and could make improvements to the home buying and selling process,” said Law Society president Nick Emmerson.

“We would have been pleased to see more provisions in relation to the regulation of all kinds of property agents to assist the home buying and selling market.

“Proposals to require more transparency for both financial and non-financial information provided to leaseholders are welcome. Providing these in a standardised format for service charges would be a useful step. We support the general commitment to make it cheaper and easier for existing leaseholders to extend their lease or buy their freehold.

“However, the Bill does not yet deliver on the government’s commitment to ban the sale of new leasehold homes.

“Nor does it yet set out the provisions for making buying or selling a leasehold property quicker and easier, by setting a maximum time and fee for the freeholder to provide the information required to make a sale.

“It also doesn’t yet require freeholders, who manage their building directly, to belong to a redress scheme or protect leaseholders by extending the measures in the Building Safety Act 2022 to ensure it operates as intended.

“We welcome the government’s commitment to deliver on these proposals by amending the Bill as it makes its way through Parliament.”

Notes to editors

• Contact the Press Office for a copy of our full parliamentary briefing.

About the Law Society

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Press office contact: Nick Mayo | 020 8049 4100

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