Let’s see detail on leasehold reform, says expert

By Linda Kirk of Adkirk Law

Plans unveiled to reform the leasehold housing system affecting up to 200,000 homeowners in Lancashire has received a cautious welcome by Adkirk Law.

Costs of extending residential property leases or purchasing the freehold of their property – to be brought before Parliament this year – could save some homeowners up to £9,000

The move comes following Adkirk Law’s support for the National Leasehold Campaign, which has been lobbying the Government for leasehold changes over the last four years.

Linda Kirk, director of conveyancing at Adkirk Law, said: “As the region with one of the largest number of leasehold properties in the UK, this is a welcome step.

“However, the devil is in the detail here and we need to see how this will be rolled out. We will need to see if this is fit for purpose across the different types of leasehold and that it works for those who have been so badly affected across the region.”

It is estimated around one million homes in the North West are leasehold, the highest proportion outside of London, and that the changes could save homeowners between £8,000 to £9,000.

The Government wants legislation in the current session of Parliament to allow house and flat leaseholders to extend their lease to a new standard 990 years with the ground rent set at zero.  They are also going to abolish the marriage value which is used to calculate the premiums payable. However the finer detail as to how this will be implemented is yet to be announced and whether this will be sufficient to resolve all the issues with leasehold property.

The Government is working with the housing sector to develop commonhold as a potential alternative to leasehold in the years ahead where flat-owners hold the freehold to their property, and blocks are jointly-owned and managed.

Adkirk Law offers a niche practice with expertise in lease extensions, residential conveyancing, regulatory law, including serious fraud, regulation and police misconduct.