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Newsflash – Government response to MHCLG’s Select Committee report on Leasehold Reform

3 July 2019

Today Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has responded to the Select Committee’s report on Leasehold Reform. IRPM members that attended the sell-out IRPM Annual Seminar heard from Select Committee member, Mark Prisk MP, on the reforms they had proposed following extensive evidence gathering.

The Government has considered each recommendation from the Committee. As you might expect, they noted the significant areas of overlap with their existing programme of reform. They agreed with the committee on the following measures:

  1. give clearer information to consumers on how to buy and sell leasehold properties
  2. consider the Committee’s views on commonhold in light of the Law Commission’s report
  3. work with developers on a standardised ‘key features’ document so consumers have clear details on the lease before they buy
  4. remove any financial value from future ground rent
  5. ensure the Law Commission is able to fully consider the application of unfair terms
  6. update planning guidance to state there should be clear and transparent agreement between developers and local authorities on public areas and utilities to be adopted
  7. consider the Committee’s recommendations on permission fees, major works (including a code of practice) and other charges in light of Lord Best’s report
  8. explore further the best means to challenge unjustifiable legal costs, including what changes to legislation are needed
  9. explore legal changes to forfeiture by asking the Law Commission to update their work on forfeiture
  10. extend mandatory membership of a redress scheme to all freeholders of leasehold properties
  11. implement improvements to enfranchisement as soon as possible

IRPM welcomes many of these recommendations, especially on improved leasehold information to buyers of leasehold properties, which most members agree is sadly lacking. IRPM has for some years been asking government and trading standards to enforce the Consumer Protection Regulations 2008, whereby material information that informs the buyers decision should be given to the buyer at the earliest opportunity. This position seems to be gaining traction now. The full response document may be found here.

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