Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick has announced the most significant set of reforms to how we hold property for at least 40 years and the beginning of even more fundamental change to English property law, through the widespread introduction of the Commonhold tenure.
The Government will:
- Improve access to ownership by making the default lease extension for houses and flats 990 years at a peppercorn rent, so that the need to extend a lease only arises once and no ground rent is payable;
- Make the process of enfranchisement valuation (calculating the cost of extending a lease or buying the freehold) cheaper, simpler and more transparent by removing probative costs, setting fairer values and creating an online calculator for leaseholders;
- Establish a Commonhold Council, a partnership of industry, leaseholders and Government, to prepare homeowners and the market for the widespread take-up of commonhold; and,
- Broaden the scope of policy which will restrict future ground rents to zero to also now include retirement properties, ensuring this basic matter of fairness also extends to those living in retirement housing.
Welcoming the news was St Austell and Newquay Member of Parliament, Steve Double, who said:
“I am delighted to see the Government come forward with these significant steps to promote fairness and transparency for homeowners, as well as ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service.”
“These steps will see unfair practices I have had Mid-Cornwall residents contact me about banned and the system fundamentally altered to ensure leasehold is a fair, transparent tenure for millions of households across England.”
“I look forward to seeing the detail of these proposals come forward and working to ensure that leaseholders in Mid-Cornwall benefit from them as soon as possible.”