News and Articles

Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act 2024

24/05/2024

Following a fiery week in politics, the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill received Royal Assent today in an unexpected turn of events. Various amendments have been made to the final version of the Bill, now Act, and it will take a few days for the final version to be updated before we can see the final product.

In terms of next steps, the Act will now need to be commenced. A very small number of sections will commence two months from today, but otherwise, the remainder of the Act will need to be formally commenced via secondary legislation. The Government will decide if and when to switch on the Act, and which may not necessarily all be at the same time.

Furthermore, key policies contained within the Act will require secondary legislation setting out further detail on the headline policy before they can commence.  

Given the election, it is unlikely that we will now see any substantial movement on the Act in terms of commencement until the Autumn.

If you are an existing or prospective client of ours, we will be writing to you next week with an update once we have had time to review the final version of the Act.

General Election called! But whatabout the LFR Bill?

23/05/2024

A General Election has been called for 04 July 2024. Whilst there is significant discussion about the Election itself, what happens to all of the legislation that was working through Parliament? Importantly, this includes the Renters Reform Bill and the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, both of which the current Government committed to during the last election in 2019.  

Between now and tomorrow afternoon (Friday 24 May), which is when the pre-election period commences, we enter a period called “Wash Up”. During “Wash Up”, a decision must be made on all outstanding bills. The bills will either be pushed through to conclusion and be given Royal Assent or they will simply fall by the wayside. In the latter scenario, the bills may never become law unless the next Government decides to adopt it. If adopted, the next Government could push the bills through as currently drafted, amend it or start again. Nothing is guaranteed in this scenario.  

At the time of writing, there are four working days left of “Wash Up”. The next four working days will therefore be make or break for the bills, and in particular our two ground-breaking industry bills.

We are on BBC Moneybox!

24/04/2024

We are thrilled to have been invited onto the BBC Moneybox show today as panellists for their “What’s going on with leasehold?” show, joining Chair of the Leasehold Advisory Service and Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, Martin Boyd. The show featured some tricky topics on marriage value, ground rents and service charge transparency. The show is available to download here.

Live on NOTB!

20/04/2024

We have joined the News on the Block professional directory today, which already hosts many other industry professionals. We are delighted to join our esteemed colleagues! Our profile can be found here.

New office in Poole!

19/04/2024

We are excited to announce the launch of our new office in Poole, headed by Matt Lewis. The launch follows a successful recruitment campaign in the Autumn and to accommodate our growing team. Please visit our expert profiles for more information on who is who!   

Leasehold Management Professionals

10/04/2024

Leasehold Management Professionals has released details of their next events: 13 June in Brighton and 26 June in Bournemouth. The events are designed for managing agents and will cover topical discussions on the reforms and on resident-managed buildings. Mari Knowles will speaking at both events with Rebecca Cattermole, barrister from 39 Essex Chambers. Tickets can be booked here.

Leasehold conveyancing conference

28/03/2024

We are delighted to present a residential conveyancing conference being held in London on Tuesday 25th June. The conference is dedicated to the leasehold aspects of a conveyance including building and fire safety, the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, LPE1, service charges and dealing with disputes amongst other topics. Details of the conference and booking can be found here.

Bill back in the Lords

28/03/2024

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill was in debated in the Lords yesterday for the Second Reading, with a broad range of subject matter raised. The next stage will be the Report Stage, currently scheduled to commence from 22 April 2024. The Bill progress can be tracked here.

Emily is now on sabbatical

26/03/2024

Emily is now on sabbatical, taking a very well earned and much needed break. Emily has worked tirelessly on the reforms, including several years at the Law Commission, and as the bill nears the final stages, Emily has taken the opportunity to take a break before the bill becomes law. Matt Lewis is providing cover for Emily during her sabbatical. We enviously wish Emily a jolly and restful time on her sabbatical.

Leasehold London 2024

21/03/2024

Thank you to News on the Block for organising yet another successful conference for industry professionals this week. Mari was delighted to be speaking to a packed room with Rebecca Cattermole, Barrister at 39 Essex Chambers. The session was a lively affair grappling with the nuances of managing buildings owned or managed by the residents. Event details can be found here.

Shared ownership reforms

12/03/2024

We are delighted to have written an article for shared ownership leaseholders on behalf of Shared Ownership Resources. In true reform fashion, the Bill has since been amended! We will be keeping shared ownership leaseholders updated as the Bill progresses via the Shared Ownership Resources team. The article can be found here.

Welcome to Sue!

07/03/2024

In quick pursuit of Elaine, we are delighted to welcome Sue who joins our Poole office today. Sue has a keen interest in law and looks forward to working with our team in the South West.

Welcome to Elaine!

01/03/2024

We are delighted to welcome Elaine to the team. Elaine is a very bright law graduate, with aspirations of a career in law. We very much look forward to working with Elaine and helping her progress her career.

Further substantial bill amendments

23/02/2024

We have seen a raft of substantial Government amendments to the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill today. This includes the long-awaited “leasehold house ban”, including a new definition of a “house”. The amendments also cover building safety changes amongst other smaller amendments.

Matt speaks to Bournemouth & District Law Society

01/02/2024

Matt is delighted to have been invited to speak again to the members of Bournemouth & District Law Society on the topic of the leasehold reforms. The event was widely attended with much to discuss following publication of the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill in November.

Substantial amendments to the Bill

17/01/2024

We have today seen a raft of amendments made by the Government to the Bill. This includes a combination of minor changes through to substantial new policy, such as changes for shared ownership leaseholders. The Bill has already seen a raft of other amendments from MPs. The Bill is currently at Committee Stage, with evidence continuing to be given this week.

MBL Enfranchisement course LAST CALL!

08/01/2024

Last call for our first “in person” course of the year, being held at London Bridge on Thursday. The course will cover a long list of topics, with emphasis on the changing landscape and new issues for enfranchisement lawyers to consider. It also includes a session on building and fire safety basics for enfranchisement lawyers. There are still a few places left, but tickets are on a first come first served basis.

Happy New Year!

02/01/2024

We are back! After a short break, we are pleased to back and looking forward to the year ahead. With the reforms bubbling away in the background, together with some exciting plans for the business, it is going to be a busy year!

Office closure

19/12/2023

We will be closing our office from 4pm on Friday 22 December, re-opening at 10am on Tuesday 02 December. Please contact advice@commonlease.co.uk for emergencies. We thank you for your patience and understanding.   

Leasehold London 2024

17/12/2023

We are delighted to have been asked to speak again at next year’s Leasehold London 2024. We will be teaming up with Rebecca Cattermole, barrister at 39 Essex Chambers, to bring delegates a session on managing resident-owned or managed buildings. The session will be particularly useful for any leaseholders who are directors of RMCs (resident management companies). For more information on the conference, please see here.

Ground rent consultation: extension of deadline

08/12/2023

The deadline for responding to the ground rent consultation has now been extended to 17 January 2024. By way of reminder, the consultation can be found here.

Ground rent consultation: impact assessment

06/12/2023

The ground rent consultation page has now been updated to include the impact assessment for the Government’s consultation. The impact assessment explains key information on the proposals including relevant data. The impact assessment can be found here.

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill

27/11/2023

The long-awaited and highly anticipated draft legislation is here! The bill has been released in full, and has had the first reading today. The bill is a lengthy document and seeks to cover four major areas: enfranchisement, right to manage & ground rents, service charges and freehold estates. There is no date yet for the second reading. The bill can be read in full here.

Ground rent consultation

09/11/2023

Following the King’s Speech, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has released a consultation on options for capping ground rent in existing leases. The deadline for responding to the consultation is 22 December 2023. The consultation can be read in full here.

Introduction of the “Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill”

07/11/2023

The King’s Speech today confirmed that the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill will be introduced to Parliament in the new Parliamentary session. The King’s Speech was immediately followed by a briefing pack which released “headline” content for the draft Bill. Until the draft Bill is released in full, it will not be clear how the headlines will be implemented. The briefing pack to the King’s Speech can be found here.