October 2017

LEASE has responded to the Department of Communities and Local Government consultation on tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market.

LEASE supports the government’s vision to grow home ownership and increase transparency and fairness for leaseholders. We welcome the opportunity to provide views on the matters set out in the consultation paper.

First, houses should be freehold, with only limited exceptions. We believe that other changes set out in our response are required because the legal consumer protection framework, as part of the market framework, has failed. Moreover, it is widely accepted that poor practice has occurred, but the industry has not stepped forward to self-regulate. We do not believe that there are voluntary routes available or that there is an appetite for them. It follows that government needs to intervene.

In looking ahead, we submit that government must also:

  1. Regulate residential leasehold property management.
  2. Abolish forfeiture for residential leasehold.
  3. Consolidate residential leasehold law.
  4. Amend the law on Commonhold to make it, amongst other things, realistic for transition from a leasehold block of flats to Commonhold.
  5. Introduce a model residential lease which should become the norm.
  6. Reform Section 20 consultation to make it work better and fairer.
  7. Remove the inconsistencies that adversely affect leaseholders when seeking leasehold enfranchisement and lease renewal under the 1993 legislation.
  8. Make improvements regarding conveyancing enquiries to aid the speed, and reduce the cost, of residential leasehold conveyancing.

Download LEASE’s full response here

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