The Law Commission has set out its initial proposals to deliver a fairer and more transparent residential leasehold system, including making it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy their freehold.

The primary objectives of the reform are threefold:

  • To promote transparency and fairness in the residential leasehold sector
  • To provide a better deal for leaseholders as consumers, and
  • To simplify enfranchisement legislation.

The proposals include removing the requirement that a leaseholder must have owned their property for at least two years before they can make a claim to buy the freehold.

They also suggest an approach for estates with a mix of freehold and leasehold flats and houses, where the current enfranchisement rules are generally not fit for purpose.

The current legislation only allows a group of leaseholders to purchase a freehold interest in their properties collectively if they are leaseholders within a single block of flats. It does not allow the leaseholders of a wider estate – whether it includes houses or not – to acquire the freehold of the whole estate.

The Law Commission’s proposals seek to rectify this.

The full proposals can be found here on the Law Commission website.

Brady Solicitors’ MD, Clare Brady commented:

“In our work for both leaseholders and their management companies, we are acutely aware of the need for change across the leasehold system. We welcome proposals that will make it easier for leaseholders to be able to purchase their freehold.”