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Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act

May 30, 2024 | Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act

You may have heard that the long awaited, and much anticipated, Leasehold & Freehold Reform Bill was rushed through Parliament on Friday in a flurry due to the impending General Election. There are various benefits to leaseholders contained in the legislation, with the aim being to help leaseholders (as well as the actual selling and buying of leasehold property), which is welcomed.

The Bill will bring protection, powers and rights to leaseholders. Leaseholders will pay less to have greater security in their home.  The Government are hailing this as a positive step forward for those who currently own a leasehold property and those looking to buy a property in the future.

Details as set out on GOV.UK

The Act:

  • Makes it cheaper and easier for people to extend their lease or buy their freehold
  • Increases the standard lease extension term to 990 years for houses and flats (up from 50 years in houses and 90 years in flats).
  • Gives leaseholders greater transparency over their service charges by making freeholders or managing agents issue bills in a standardised format that can be more easily scrutinised and challenged.
  • Makes it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to take over management of their building, allowing them to appoint the managing agent of their choice.
  • Makes it cheaper for leaseholders to exercise their enfranchisement rights as they will no longer have to pay their freeholder’s costs when making a claim.
  • Extends access to redress schemes for leaseholders to challenge poor practice. The government will require freeholders, who manage their building directly, to belong to a redress scheme so leaseholders can challenge them if needed – managing agents are already required to belong to a scheme.
  • Makes buying or selling a leasehold property quicker and easier by setting a maximum time and fee that for home buying and selling information.
  • Grants homeowners on private and mixed tenure estates comprehensive rights of redress, so they receive more information about what charges they pay, and the ability to challenge how reasonable they are.