Labour MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston, Justin Madders has delayed the second reading of the Leasehold Reform Bill until October 26 2018.
The Bill seeks to introduce a statutory formula for enfranchisement and lease extension similar to schemes in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
It will end the incessant game-playing and revenues from the lease extension racket.
The change in law is all the more important following the defeat last month of the Mundy case in the Court of Appeal.
It rejected the leaseholder-friendly Parthenia model, championed by chartered surveyor James Wyatt.
The case revealed the flaws in existing models – commissioned by the country’s most powerful freeholders – but failed to persuade the court to accept Parthenia.
Justin Madders, who is deputy chair of the APPG on leasehold reform, said: “I was very pleased to see the Government agree with my proposal to look at introducing a straightforward and inexpensive system for purchasing the freehold of properties. If they get this right, it could enable tens of thousands of people to escape from the leasehold trap.
“The Government has now asked the Law Commission to devise such a scheme and to report back by the summer, so I am delaying the next stage of my Bill until after that process has taken place. I have had positive conversations with the Housing Minister about the other steps that I am calling on the Government to take and I hope that they will use this opportunity to do what is right.
“As it stood, my Bill was seventh on the Order Paper on the 2nd February, so in reality it stood no real chance of being debated. I hope that in the months ahead, the Government will be prepared to work with me on developing a law, with cross-party support that can deliver the changes required.
“The Bill has a much better chance of being debated in October and by this time the law commission are expected to have reported back. If their recommendations are broadly in line with the proposals in my Bill then we stand a much better chance of getting the Government to endorse it.”
Also leasehold replaced with commonhold, past ground rent set at zero and a Regulator to stop service overcharging to be added to the Bill.
Once again, this is excellent news from Justin Madders and follows on the measures announced by Sajid Javid on 21 December. With the Law Commission report expected in the summer, and Justin’s 2nd reading scheduled for September, regulation and legislation is fast approaching.
And signs are emerging that the criminal wing of this unscrupulous “Ground Rent” industry is now running for cover!
I do hope that you are correct Alec. I have great faith in Madders. Oh sweet Joy when rogue Agents/ unscrupulous ground rent acquisitors / shonky solicitors and compliant “ Surveyors” are made to atone for their sins. EG legislation will dictate that the aforementioned will no longer be able to carry out their nefarious doings with impunity. severe financial penalties or a custodial sentence must be imposed to prevent these individuals carrying out their venal acts/ dirty tricks. The sooner the better.
Ground rent should definitely be abolished for all new flats and houses. Many leasehold properties already have a peppercorn ground rent and it looks like ground rent is now extinguished by a statutory 90 yr lease extension (fantastic!) Arguments that this proposal would create a 2 tier market or disadvantage investors just don’t stack up. On the contrary, such a move would more rapidly eliminate the existing two tier market and existing investors (including pension funds) receive the premium paid for a lease extension so they won’t lose out. Tenants with very long leases (e.g with a residue of 999 yrs) who would never need a lease extension perhaps might get left behind but I’d hope a very long lease could still be extended simply to extinguish the ground rent so people have this option. Where ground rents increase over time, the sooner the lease is extended, the better as the current cost of the ground rent is a key factor in determining the cost of the lease extension. In my view ground rent is a grossly unfair charge – it is ‘money for nothing’ and the sooner it is wiped out, the better.
Time all Retirement flats were Commonhold. Unfortunately the Law Commission takes far more notice of the likes of McCarthy & Stone than the residents. We should not be paying large sums of money to faceless landlords