leasehold

25 May 23

The Labour Party has pledged to introduce legislation within its first 100 days of Government to abolish leasehold if it wins the next General Election.

Leasehold charges such as other service and cladding costs have been blamed for stopping homeowners from remortgaging and selling.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove is rumoured to have backtracked over pledges to abolish the feudal leasehold system.

An Opposition Day debate on leasehold reform brought by Labour last night aimed to compel the Government to introduce a “workable system to replace private leasehold flats with commonhold.”

Speaking to Sky News, Shadow Housing Secretary Lisa Nandy said: “There are 5m people struggling with this feudal and archaic system.

“England and Wales are outliers in the world of holding onto this system

“You save up, get a mortgage to buy your own home only to find out you don’t actually own it.

“You can be hit with arbitrary unfair challenges, you don’t know where they come from, nobody is under pressure to explain why they are charging you that money. “For some people it is just an irritation, for others it is ruining their lives.”

Nandy said Labour would end leasehold for new build houses and introduce a commonhold system for flats, claiming it “works all over the world so there is no reason why it wouldn’t work here.”

Shadow Housing Minister Matthew Pennycook said: “We must overhaul the present system to the lasting benefit of leaseholders and reinvigorate commonhold so that it becomes the default of the future.

“Labour are committed to enacting the Law Commission’s recommendations on enfranchisement, commonhold and right to manage in full.”

Commenting on the pledge, Katie Kendrick of the National Leasehold Campaign, said: “The National Leasehold Campaign and The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership have spent many years highlighting the many abuses of the leasehold system to members of parliament across all political parties.

“Leasehold really is a cross-party issue which needs cross-party solutions. We are delighted Labour has announced this pledge to abolish leasehold but as we know the history of leasehold reform over the last 150 years has been one that repeats itself like a feudal ground hog day.

“If this Government fails to deliver on their promises 5m leaseholders will be looking at the next one, whoever that is, to finish the job and implement the widespread adoption of commonhold”. 

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