Leasehold Reform: Addressing Feudal Practices in Modern Housing

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Leasehold Reform: Addressing Feudal Practices in Modern Housing

Leasehold, a centuries-old practice originating in feudal times, grants freeholders ownership of the land on which flats and houses are built. Leaseholders, who possess temporary rights to these properties, face criticism for being exploited by freeholders through managing agents. Activists advocate for the abolition of leasehold, deeming it unfair and exploitative.

To address these concerns, the Leasehold and Freehold (Reform) Bill is currently under parliamentary debate. The government aims to simplify and reduce costs for leaseholders seeking legal recourse. Increased transparency regarding service charges is also proposed, though price caps are not included. Additionally, new leases will be extended to a standard duration of 990 years, replacing the current shorter time frames.

Proponents of leasehold abolition recommend implementing commonhold instead. This system would empower flat owners to collectively manage their buildings or appoint their own managing agents, breaking free from the control of freeholders. However, it is important to note that commonhold is not part of the current reform bill.