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Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill moves in the right direction

Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill moves in the right direction


The Law Society of England and Wales acknowledges the positive steps taken in the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill while also highlighting areas where more work is needed for comprehensive reform in the leasehold system

Key points mentioned in the statement include:

  1. Support for Measures: The Law Society broadly supports the measures introduced in the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, recognizing their potential to impact millions of homeowners and home buyers in England and Wales. The improvements aim to streamline the home buying and selling process.

  2. Need for Additional Provisions: While acknowledging the positive steps, the Law Society points out areas where further provisions are necessary. They emphasize the importance of more extensive regulation of all property agents to enhance the home buying and selling market.

  3. Transparency for Leaseholders: The statement appreciates proposals to enhance transparency for both financial and non-financial information provided to leaseholders. Standardizing the format for service charges is seen as a beneficial step.

  4. Lease Extensions and Freehold Purchase: Support is expressed for the commitment to making it cheaper and easier for existing leaseholders to extend their lease or purchase their freehold. However, the Bill falls short of the government's commitment to banning the sale of new leasehold homes.

  5. Improvements Still Needed: The Law Society points out that the Bill lacks provisions to expedite the process of buying or selling a leasehold property by setting maximum time and fee limits for freeholders to provide necessary information. Additionally, it doesn't mandate freeholders managing their buildings directly to belong to a redress scheme or extend measures in the Building Safety Act 2022 to protect leaseholders effectively.

  6. Government Commitment to Amendments: The Law Society welcomes the government's commitment to amending the Bill during its passage through Parliament to address these concerns and fulfill the proposed reforms.

In summary, while the Law Society sees the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill as a positive step forward, they emphasize the need for further provisions and amendments to fully address issues concerning leasehold properties and protect the interests of leaseholders in England and Wales.