New leasehold information rules a big victory for consumers

The endorsement by ministers of proposals to give consumers significantly more information early in the home buying process was today given a partial welcome by the Law Society of England and Wales.

“It is encouraging to see government has recognised just how much easier it will be for consumers to make informed decisions if full information is provided at the very beginning of the home buying process,” said Law Society president Simon Davis.

“Conveyancing solicitors are usually involved at a much later stage, by which time clients may have already emotionally committed to the purchase – and may be less open to hearing advice about onerous conditions. This can make it much more difficult to advise. A time limit of 15 working days for developers and estate agents to provide the necessary information is therefore entirely appropriate and to be welcomed.

“It is particularly pleasing that alongside the government-proposed key features document for new build homes, there will also be some provision for the second-hand market. This will help consumers to make comparisons between properties they wish to view.

“We are keen to see a satisfactory resolution to all of the issues currently facing affected owners and prospective purchasers of leasehold properties. Although these proposals appear to be a step in the right direction, we look forward to seeing further details of how the proposed legislation will work in practice.”

Notes to editors

The government response to the Housing, Community and Local Government (HCLG) report on leasehold reform was published on 3 July 2019.

Read the government response

The HCLG committee report Leasehold Reform was published on the 11 March 2019.

Read the report

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