Government Reforms

In December 2016, the government announced that it intended to review the commonhold and leasehold systems with a view to reforming the laws to make it quicker, simpler and, if possible, cheaper for leaseholders. Additional reviews are also underway for regulation of managing agents, conveyancing processes and possibly unfair lease terms. The reforms are ongoing and are unlikely to conclude until at least 2021. 

Who is who? 

Law Commission 

For technical areas of law, the Ministry outsources the researching and options to the Law Commission, which is an independent body. The Law Commission conducts a review before reporting to the Ministry with its recommendations for reform. 

Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (“MHCLG”) 

The department responsible for researching options for new laws and for advising the Secretary of State of those options are and which are most viable. 

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 

Responsible for any law relating to housing, communities and local government, including commonhold and leasehold laws. Considers the options presented to it by the Ministry, deciding which option is most viable before presenting the final solution to the Government. 


Decides what the new laws should be and presents these laws to Parliament for voting.  


The two houses vote on whether to make the new laws suggested by Government. If the parties vote to introduce the new laws, this will eventually become the law.   

Law making process 

Stage 1: Research

Who: MHCLG or the Law Commission

Researching problems with the current law, deciding what needs to be reformed and exploring options for reform. The findings are set out in a consultation paper.  

Stage 2: Consultation

Who: The public

The public will be given the consultation paper and asked questions about the proposals set out in that paper.

Stage 3: Recommendation

Who: MHCLG or the Law Commission

The paper will be revised to make final recommendations, taking into account feedback given during the consultation stage.  

Stage 4: Assessment

Who: Secretary of State

Deciding which option is the most viable from the recommendations given. 

Stage 5: Referral

Who: Government

The Secretary of State will confirm the final proposal for reform to the Government, who will decide whether to pursue that option. 

Stage 6: Voting

Who: Parliament

If the government pursues the option, it will present that option to Parliament who will then vote on whether to make it law.

Stage 7: Implementation

Who: Draftsman

If Parliament votes to make it law, the draftsman will finalise the legislation and implement it.

Who is doing what?

Law being reviewed
Leasehold enfranchisement 
Law Commission
Law Commission
Right to manage
Law Commission
Unfair lease terms (to be confirmed)
Law Commission
Regulation of manging agents
Onerous ground rent leases

How does this affect me? 

Until new laws are introduced by Parliament, the current laws and procedures will continue as they are. If you proceed with a commonhold or leasehold transaction now and the law changes in future, you will not benefit from those changes retrospectively. There is however no guarantee that new laws will be introduced or what those laws will be.  Please contact us if you wish to discuss the reforms in more detail as our advice on the best time to proceed will vary depending on your personal circumstances.  

How long will it take to reform commonhold and leasehold law? 

Most of the consultations are still in the researching and consultation stage and there are many stages left before becoming law. Current indications are that any new law will not come into force until 2021 at the earliest. This is strictly subject to change.

Where can I get more information? 

The Law Commission - Residential leasehold and commonhold 

GOV.UK - Housing, local and community