The King’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament has outlined the content of the government’s Leasehold and Freehold Bill in England and Wales. The Bill will make it cheaper and easier for leaseholders owning houses and flats to buy the freehold and removes the requirement for a leaseholder to have owned the property for two years before they can apply to extend the lease.
The 25% non-residential limit in mixed use buildings with homes and commercial premises will be increased allowing leaseholder in buildings with up to 50% non-residential floorspace to buy their freehold or take over its management.
Other rights and protections in the Bill include:
- Setting a maximum time and fee for information to be provided to make a sale to a leaseholder by their freeholder
- Requiring transparency over service charges
- Removing building insurance commissions for managing agents
- Extending redress schemes for leaseholders to challenge poor practice
- Expanding on measures in the Building Safety Act 2022 to ensure freeholders and developers can’t escape liability for remediation work
The first sitting of the Public Bill Committee is expected to be in mid November and the committee will report back by Tuesday 5 December. We will bring you any updates as they are announced.