The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper considering Leasehold and Commonhold reform.

The briefing paper covers the nature of leasehold ownership, the extent of leasehold ownership, Commonhold tenure and Freehold houses: estate charges.

Research carried out by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) estimates that there are around 4 million leasehold homes in the private sector in England, of which 70% are flats. In 2016, around 27% of residential property transactions in England and Wales were leasehold. Because almost all flats sell as leasehold, leasehold transactions are more common in London, where 60% of transactions were leasehold in 2016. The practice is also more common for new-build properties: 46% of new build transactions were leasehold.

Earlier this year, the Housing White Paper, ‘Fixing our broken housing market‘ (February 2017), included a commitment to “improve consumer choice and fairness in leasehold” and to consider “whether and how to reinvigorate commonhold.”

Subsequently, DCLG’s consultation paper, ‘Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market‘, looks to move leasehold and Commonhold reform further along. The paper includes, amongst other things, proposals to tackle the sale of new-build houses on a leasehold basis and to control ground rent levels in new lease agreements.

LEASE will be conducting a free webinar on the consultation paper at 7pm on 7 September and you can register here.

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