Leasehold & Freehold Reform Bill undergoes Lords line by line scrutiny - Boodle Hatfield

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25 Apr 2024

Leasehold & Freehold Reform Bill undergoes Lords line by line scrutiny

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Simon Kerrigan View profile
2 min read

It is perhaps not surprising that many have lost track of quite where we are in terms of leasehold reform. But to provide a timely update, this week saw the start of the four day Committee Stage of the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill in the House of Lords, which involved a detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of the bill. It was suggested that there were almost 150 amendments being proposed.

The debate went on for over three hours and for those interested, it can be accessed in full here. Comments from yesterday’s sessions include:

“This area of law [that] goes back to the Middle Ages—in fact, it probably goes back 1,000 years. It is by no means simple to reform it”

“The law is so complex that this cannot be done quickly or unfairly. The Law Commission has written thousands of pages on this area; it is far from a simple matter. Indeed, to replace the leasehold system might take decades, if not longer.”

To those with a detailed working knowledge of the leasehold system, and enfranchisement in particular, comments such as these might provide some comfort that there is finally a recognition within Parliament of the complexities involved, and that a breath might be taken to allow for a more critical analysis before any reforms are introduced. And yet….experience to date has demonstrated that the Government is determined to drive forward its reform programme, even if, with a hard deadline of having to bring that into force before a general election, it is at the expense of considering the nuances and (perhaps unintended) consequences of what is being proposed. It feels now, more than ever, the market is in the mode of “watch this space”.

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