Following the announcement of the upcoming general election it was unknown what draft legislation would still become law before parliament dissolved. During the “wash up” period the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill became law on Friday 24th May 2024.

The legislation, which strives to give leaseholder enhanced rights over their homes provides the following:

  • Increasing the standard term of a lease extension to 990 years for both houses and flats
  • Making it cheaper to extend leases by removing marriage value for leases with a term of less than 80 years left
  • Removing the requirement to have owned a property for two years before a lease extension claim can commence
  • Enhanced transparency over service charges, buildings insurance commissions and access to Redress Schemes to challenge poor practices by freeholders
  • Increasing the non-residential limit from 25% to 50% in respect of collective enfranchisement claims

The above measures should make it quicker and cheaper for leaseholders to extend their leases. The new legislation did not, as anticipated cover the following:

  • Removal of ground rent in existing leases. It had been reported that banning existing ground rents, or introducing a cap of £250 would be introduced.
  • Banning forfeiture of long residential leases

It is likely, that there is future leasehold reform to come. The new reforms will certainly be welcomed by leaseholders.

If you have any questions about your leasehold property please contact Rosanna Sayers or Shah Bakar.