Quiz - how well do you understand your lease?
Understand the key things you should know about your lease. If you are a purchaser, this can help make sure your solicitor has covered all of these points and explained them clearly to you.
The Law Commission has published its consultation on the alternative to leasehold: Commonhold.
Professor Nick Hopkins, Commissioner at the Law Commission said:
“Commonhold provides a once in a generation opportunity to rethink how we own property in England and Wales and offers homeowners an alternative system to leasehold.
“It involves a culture change, moving away from an “us and them” mindset, towards “us and ourselves”.
“We want to hear what people think of our proposals so we can be sure the commonhold system will work for homeowners and the wider property sector.”
The consultation paper sets out the full benefits of commonhold, including:
- Owners own their property outright, so their ownership won’t run out in the future – whereas leases expire and extending them can be costly.
- There is no landlord – instead, owners have a stake in the wider building and can make decisions about the shared areas together.
- There is no ground rent – owners will only pay what it costs to maintain the building and will control that expenditure.
- There is no risk of forfeiture in commonhold – in leasehold, if a leaseholder breaches the terms of the lease, the landlord can take back the property without paying anything to the leaseholder.
- Standard rules and regulations apply in the commonhold community statement (CCS) – which means owners know where they stand, and should also make conveyancing simpler and cheaper.
Proposals in the paper include:
- Converting to commonhold.
- Making commonhold more usable for mixed-use and mixed-tenure developments.
- Financing the commonhold – the ways in which the costs of managing and maintaining the commonhold may be met; and the ways in which the CA may be able to obtain financing in order to respond to unforeseen events.
- The ban on residential leases, in excess of seven years within commonhold, and possible exceptions
- Enforcement and dispute resolution
- Termination of a commonhold
Commonhold consultation events
The commission will be holding a number of consultation events across England and Wales. At these events, they will discuss some of their proposals and ask the public for their views. All those interested in commonhold are encouraged to attend and help shape the final recommendations for reform. Details of events will be available on the Commonhold project webpage shortly.
The consultation is open until 10th March 2019 and comments may be sent using the online form. Where possible, it would be helpful if this form was used.
Alternatively, comments may be sent:
- By email to [email protected].
- By post to Leasehold Enfranchisement Team, Law Commission, 1st Floor, Tower, 52 Queen’s Anne Gate, London, SW1H 9AG.
(If you send your comments by post, it would be helpful if, whenever possible, you could also send them electronically.)
The commission will publish its final report, and assist with the implementation of its recommendations, in 2019.