British Property Federation comments on the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill proposed in the King’s Speech
Ian Fletcher, Director at the British Property Federation, said: “This is a Bill of missed opportunity and stored up problems. It wants to improve the experience of leaseholders yet says nothing about their main day-to-day interaction with managing agents, who are unregulated. It wants to scrap ground rents, yet says nothing about the disruption that will cause to everyday management, and building remediation efforts, as freeholders’ businesses become unviable. Silence kicks commonhold into the long-grass, perhaps for ever. And by raising the enfranchisement threshold on mixed-use property, it damages the mixed-use property investment market, as more landlords lose their development rights, and control of their property’s management, hurting levelling-up in the process. Though they may not know it, the Bill will wipe billions of pounds off the savings of not just investors, but charities, pensioners, and local authorities.
“The bill has some useful reform. Fairly apportioning legal costs, banning the sale of most leasehold houses, tightening up on insurance commissions, and extending redress are all sensible measures. Overall, however, it is a patchwork, and some way from the comprehensive reform suggested by the Law Commission.”