Dalston Office
020 8533 6461
Email Dalston

Stratford Office
020 8534 8852
Email Stratford

Head Office
020 7033 0311
Email HQ

Landmark Leasehold Reform Bill Becomes Law

Key Changes

  1. Lease Extensions:
  • New Standard Terms: Leaseholders can now extend their lease to a maximum term of 990 years with zero ground rent. This provides long-term security and stability, reducing the financial burden associated with frequent lease renewals.
  • Application Simplification: The process for applying for lease extensions has been streamlined, making it easier and less time-consuming for leaseholders to secure extended terms without facing excessive administrative hurdles.
  1. Service Charges:
  • Increased Transparency: The reforms mandate clearer and more detailed breakdowns of service charges, allowing leaseholders to see exactly what they are paying for. This includes standardizing the format of service charge demands to ensure consistency and clarity.
  • Cap on Ground Rent: Ground rents on new leases will be set to zero, eliminating the financial strain caused by escalating ground rents and preventing future exploitation by freeholders.
  1. Property Management:
  • Easier Management: The reforms make it simpler for leaseholders to take over the management of their properties or appoint alternative management companies if they are dissatisfied with their current management. This includes reducing the thresholds and procedural barriers for collective enfranchisement and right to manage applications.
  • Redress Rights: Leaseholders will have expanded rights to challenge poor management practices through enhanced access to redress schemes. This ensures that leaseholders can hold management companies accountable for substandard service.
  1. Legal Costs:
  • Cost Reductions: Leaseholders are no longer automatically liable for freeholders’ legal fees in disputes. This change aims to make legal challenges more accessible and less financially intimidating for leaseholders, promoting fairer outcomes in disputes.
  1. Ban on New Leasehold Houses:
  • Future Developments: The sale of new leasehold houses will be banned, except in specific circumstances such as shared ownership schemes. This measure aims to curb the proliferation of leasehold houses and protect future homeowners from the disadvantages of leasehold ownership.
  1. Building Insurance:
  • Commission Regulations: The reforms ban excessive commissions on building insurance policies, ensuring that leaseholders are not overcharged for mandatory insurance cover. This promotes fairness and transparency in the cost of insuring leasehold properties.
  1. Sales Process:
  • Simplified Transactions: Measures have been introduced to make the buying and selling process of leasehold properties quicker and less cumbersome. This includes standardizing information packs provided to prospective buyers and setting time limits for responses to inquiries.
  1. Mixed-Use Properties:
  • Commercial Parts: Special considerations are given to properties with commercial parts. The reforms ensure that the rules are fair and that residential leaseholders in mixed-use buildings are protected without adversely impacting commercial tenants.

Additional Benefits:

  • Consumer Rights: Strengthened consumer protections ensure that leaseholders have better recourse against unfair practices and can more easily seek redress.
  • Service Improvement: The reforms aim to improve the overall quality of service in property management, benefiting leaseholders through higher standards and accountability.

Visual Highlights

A renewed focus on making homeownership more secure and transparent for leaseholders.

The new law significantly extends lease terms, providing long-term security.

Empowering leaseholders to manage their properties effectively.

Reduced legal burdens for leaseholders.

Why This Matters

These reforms mark a significant shift in property law, enhancing the rights and protections of leaseholders. By making the system more transparent and equitable, the government aims to address longstanding issues and improve the housing market for future generations.

For more detailed information, please visit the official government announcement.

The Property Ombudsman TSI Rightmove Zoopla Primelocation OnTheMarket