Leasehold Reform Bill passes first Commons stage


The Leasehold Reform Bill, designed to restrict ground rents on lengthy residential leases, was debated at a second reading in the House of Commons this week and approved unopposed.

The bill has now been sent to a public bill committee which will scrutinise it and report back to the House by 9 December.

There will be a third reading in the House of Commons, before the bill goes into the final stages where amendments are considered and then it is granted royal assent and passed.

Jonathan Frankel, litigation partner at Cavendish Legal Group, said: “It is incredibly positive that the Leasehold Reform Bill has passed its first stage in the Commons unopposed. It clearly shows the direction of travel away from exorbitant leasehold rents, down to nothing.

“Anyone buying a new property now also has the reassurance that developers can only charge a peppercorn rent on all new leasehold properties, which is effectively zero.

“The same applies to anyone extending their leasehold under the statutory route in that they will be able to reduce the amount they pay to next to nothing. This is currently subject to a two-year ownership provision. Whether that onerous condition stays put through the parliamentary reforms remains to be seen.

“The government now needs to go a step further and introduce nothing more than a peppercorn leasehold rent for all existing leaseholds.”

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