The Law Commission of England and Wales has today published a report setting out three key options to reduce sums flat owners have to pay to extend the lease of the flats or buy the freehold.
The Law Commission was tasked with providing these options, while ensuring that landlords were adequately compensated, with the aim to end what have been viewed as unjust practices in the leasehold system.
In addition to reducing the price payable, the options can simplify the law, making the process of lease extensions and buying the freehold, also known as “enfranchisement” less complicated and cheaper.
The report looks at the method used to calculate the value of the landlord’s interest and how this could be reformed to lower the cost of enfranchisement without breaching human rights legislation that protect the property interests of landlords.
Each of the proposed schemes will make leasehold enfranchisement cheaper, which will mean savings for flat owners.
The Property Law Commissioner, Professor Nicholas Hopkins, says that the Commission is ‘ready to help the government in implementing whichever reform options they choose’. Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
“I welcome these proposals from the Law Commission which provide options to make it simpler and faster for leaseholders to buy their freehold or extend their lease.
“I will consider the proposals outlined in this report carefully and set out our preferred way forward in due course.
The Law Commission has said that it will be making further recommendations in the coming months for reforms to improve ‘the current complex enfranchisement system’ as well as improvements to right to manage law. Some busy times ahead it seems and so watch this space!
If you would like more information on how we may help you with a lease extension or to buy your freehold do not hesitate to contact Will Oakes on 01206 239764.