Conveyancing Association urges govt to deliver on promised leasehold reform

The Conveyancing Association (CA) has urged the government to “move further and faster” in delivering the leasehold reform it has previously promised.

The trade body for the conveyancing industry outlined several measures that the government has yet to action into legislation.

These include a fixed maximum fee payable of £200 and delivery within two weeks for the Leasehold Property Enquiry 1 (LPE1) form, the banning of the sale of leasehold houses, and removal of S.8(2) Law of Property Act from Estate Rent charges so they cannot be converted to long leases if the rent charge is not paid whether requested or not.

The Association is also calling for a cap on existing ground rents to the limits in the Housing Act 1988 to prevent long leases becoming assured shorthold tenancies, as well as a right to extend leases by 990 years.

The government has set up a Commonhold Council to look at how this could be delivered to the consumer, and the CA stated that the government must act quickly.

This call follows the Queen’s Speech announcement in May which contained the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill, outlining action to prevent the practice of “onerous and escalating ground rents from affecting future leaseholders”.

“While it was very positive to see the Leasehold Reform Bill make it to the Queen’s Speech, we now need action in a whole host of areas, specifically those measures which have already been announced but have yet to be turned into specific legislation,” commented CA director of delivery, Beth Rudolf.

“There may be an assumption that while the noise has died down around leasehold a lot, the problems have gone away. That is certainly not the case and we now need to maintain the momentum that has been built up and finally get solutions to these problems on the statute book.

“We can make such a difference to the lives of leaseholders by getting these promises delivered and we are urging the government to move as quickly as it can to do this.”

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