The Conveyancing Association

CA responds to leasehold enfranchisement reform consultation

The Conveyancing Association (CA) has issued a response to the Law Commission’s leasehold enfranchisement reform consultation.

The consultation paper – entitled ‘Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease’ – was published in September 2018, and the deadline for responses was 7th January 2019.

In its response to the questions outlined in the consultation, the CA argued that any reforms should be relevant across England and Wales, including:

  • The entitlement of leaseholders of both flats and houses to a lease extension of 999 years on payment of a premium.
  • The fact leaseholders should have a right to a lease extension at a nominal ground rent, plus they should have the choice to extend the lease without changing the ground rent, but at a reduced premium and on the flip side should have the choice to extinguish the ground rent (without extending the lease) at a reduced premium.

“We, at the CA, see this response as the natural culmination of the vast amount of work that has been carried out in the leasehold arena and – following this consultation – we are extremely hopeful that we can have a system that is fit for purpose and does not work against both existing or new leaseholders in the future,” said Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the Conveyancing Association.

“Developing a system which allows leaseholders to extend their lease in a unified and stable way – without the vast amount of cost this currently requires – will open up this whole market, delivering far greater confidence to existing leaseholders and ensuring they are not exploited by freeholders or feel prisoners in their homes due to being unable to remortgage and/or sell their property.

“The leasehold scandal that has emerged over the past few years has shown that we need far greater clarity and transparency in this part of the housing market, and we are still utterly convinced that a greater take-up of commonhold arrangements, as opposed to leasehold, would be a far better option for many consumers.”

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