By Harry Scoffin
LKP chair Martin Boyd has sought to quash fears that leasehold reform is in limbo.
Speaking to Property Week for a feature on managing agents and service charges, Mr Boyd suggested that a raft of measures to improve the leasehold and commonhold markets are likely to be brought before parliament within the next year.
The paywalled article references the Lord Best report, which recommended government places all property agents under the purview of a regulator ‘with teeth’ to drive up standards and protect consumers.
It also mentions the body of work the Law Commission is currently undertaking, highlighting its efforts to liberalise the rules around the right to manage:
“It is expected that measures to promote RTM in particular will give greater power to leaseholders and reduce the chance of having poor managing agents imposed on them by a landlord.”
In remarks made before the calling of the general election, Mr Boyd said:
“The understanding is that there is a slot in the legislative diary for the second half of 2020.”
He acknowledged the progress made by government in this area in recent years:
“The government is clearly committed to reform and we welcome the work going on to get rid of the worst abuses in the sector.
This is the only business where, without any qualifications, you can be legally entitled to hold millions of pounds in service charge funds.”
Mr Boyd’s intervention follows concerns raised in parliament over the apparent stalling of reform by the Boris Johnson administration.
His 2020 prediction seems to correspond with the Law Commission’s search to fill three vacancies in their property team.
The 12-month contracts are being billed as an opportunity “to draft new residential leasehold legislation and to amend the legislation governing commonhold, and then to prepare for and support any implementation of that legislation.”
The applicant “must be able to take responsibility for delivering timely and quality results with focus and drive”.
The advertisement hints that government will be tasking the Law Commission to reform other areas of leasehold law.