Law Commission consultation on leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease

Closes 7 Jan 2019

Opened 20 Sep 2018

Overview

This is a public consultation by the Law Commission for England and Wales.

What is this consultation about?

Leasehold enfranchisement law concerns those who own property on a long lease. The enfranchisement legislation gives these leaseholders several important rights:

  • the right to extend their lease;
  • the right to acquire the freehold of their house; and
  • the right to acquire (collectively) the freehold of their block of flats.

Government has asked us to review the enfranchisement process to make it simpler, easier, quicker and more cost effective. We have also been asked to examine the options to reduce the price payable by leaseholders to enfranchise, while providing sufficient compensation to landlords to reflect their legitimate property interests. Our enfranchisement project is, therefore, a wide-ranging examination of leaseholders' enfranchisement rights.

The project is now at the consultation stage. We have published a Consultation Paper (accessible here) which discusses the problems with the current law, makes provisional proposals for reform of the enfranchisement rights and process, and sets out options to reduce the price payable by leaseholders to enfranchise.

The Consultation Paper asks a number of consultation questions. We will use the responses to our consultation questions to develop our final recommendations for reform of enfranchisement law. Government will also use the responses when deciding whether to adopt any of the valuation options we present.

For more information about the leasehold enfranchisement project, including our Terms of Reference, click here.

Is this consultation for me?

We want to hear from everyone with views on the law and process of enfranchisement – leaseholders of houses and flats, landlords, campaigners, property developers, industry bodies, professionals and academics.

We are aware that our Consultation Paper is lengthy, and that the response form asks a lot of questions. Please do not feel that you must answer every question. If you are only interested in one part of our consultation, or even if you wish to answer only one question, you can respond to just that part or question. While it is very useful to us if you can respond to specific questions which we ask, we have also provided a box at the end of the response form for any additional comments you may wish to share with us.

Although we have tried our best to set out our proposals in plain English, we are also aware that some of the issues we discuss are very technical. This does not mean that we do not want to hear from you. We would encourage you to share your views with us regardless of the level of your legal or technical knowledge. We are especially keen to hear from you if your response is based on your own experience as a leaseholder or freeholder.

We have also produced a short survey for current and former leaseholders to complete, the purpose of which is to collect information on the range of different leases held by leaseholders in England and Wales, and on leaseholders’ experiences of the current enfranchisement process. This information will provide part of the evidence base that we will use to produce our final recommendations for reforming the law.

How can I take part in the consultation?

We recommend that consultees read the Consultation Paper (click here), or relevant parts of the paper, before responding to the consultation questions. A shorter summary is also available here. You can respond to the consultation questions by clicking on the button at the bottom of this page, and navigating through the online response form. You do not need to complete all of your answers in one go. You can save and return to the form at any time. The additional leaseholder survey is available at: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/law-commission/law-commission-leaseholder-survey

About the Law Commission: The Law Commission is a statutory body, created by the Law Commissions Act 1965 (“the 1965 Act”) for the purpose of promoting the reform of the law. It is an advisory Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The Law Commission is independent of Government. For more information about the Law Commission please click here.

How do we deal with responses: We may publish or disclose information you provide us in response to this consultation, including personal information. For more information on how we consult and how we may use responses to the consultation, please see page ii of the consultation paper. For information about how we handle your personal data, please see our privacy notice.

Respond to our consultation

Audiences

  • Businesses
  • Citizens
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Local authorities
  • Litigants
  • Charities
  • Landlords
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Government departments
  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary
  • Court & Tribunal staff
  • Legal professional bodies
  • Public listed company
  • Private limited company
  • Public sector
  • Academics
  • UK policy institutions
  • UK politicians
  • Journalists
  • Planning authorities
  • Housing developers
  • Business & industry
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Charities
  • Government departments
  • Legal professionals
  • Judiciary
  • Media
  • Housing developers

Interests

  • Compensation
  • Courts
  • Property
  • Law
  • UK Law