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Law Commission opens consultation on commonhold

11 December 2018

The Law Commission has published its consultation 'Reinvigorating commonhold: the alternative to leasehold ownership' as part of its wider residential leasehold and commonhold project.

On 22 February 2018, the Law Commission published a call for evidence that highlighted a number of issues within the current law of commonhold that may be making commonhold unattractive to homeowners.

The original commonhold legislation was contained in the Leasehold and Commonhold Reform Act 2002. The recent call for evidence highlighted problems with the current law, and the Law Commission is now looking to reinvigorate commonhold.

This consultation sits alongside the MHCLG consultation ('Implementing reforms to the leasehold system in England') and the consultation on leasehold enfranchisement ('Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease') which ends on 7 January 2019.

The commonhold project looks at aspects of the law of commonhold that may be preventing its uptake.

The consultation makes provisional proposals to make commonhold work for homeowners, developers, mortgage lenders and across the wider property sector.

In particular, the papers includes proposals that would

  • enable commonhold to be used for larger, mixed-use developments that accommodate not only residential properties but also shops, restaurants and leisure facilities
  • allow shared ownership leases and other forms of affordable housing to be included within commonhold
  • make it easier for existing leaseholders to convert to commonhold and gain greater control over their properties
  • improve mortgage lenders' confidence in commonhold to increase the choice of financing for home buyers
  • provide homeowners with a greater say in how the costs of running their commonhold are met
  • enable homeowners to end unattractive long-term contracts imposed by developers

The consultation paper follows a call for evidence published on 22 February that highlighted a number of issues within the current law of commonhold that may be making it unattractive to homeowners and across the wider property sector.

The Law Commission will be holding a number of consultation events across England and Wales. At these events, it will discuss some of its proposals and ask for your views.

All those with an interest in commonhold are invited to attend these events and help shape the final recommendations for reform. Details will be available on the Commission's website shortly.

We encourage all members with an interest in property law, enfranchisement and leasehold to respond to this consultation.

If you would like to feed your comments into the Law Society response, please make clear which question you are responding to and provide these to property@lawsociety.org.uk by midday on 7 January 2019.

The closing date for this consultation is 10 March 2019.

Read the consultation paper in full or download a summary

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