Lack of govt leasehold reform leaves thousands of homeowners at risk

The lack of progress on the government reforms of the UK’s leasehold system is leaving thousands of homeowners in danger of losing out, according to leasehold enfranchisement specialist, Cavendish Legal Group.

The government announced reforms to “level up” the leasehold system at the start of the year, as part of a move that would include scrapping ground rents and ensuring leaseholders can extend effectively forever.

However, without a timetable for implementation, Cavendish warned that homeowners who would have started leasehold enfranchisement proceedings to secure their home this year are “left in limbo” as they wait for reform to be implemented.

Cavendish litigation partner, Jonathan Frankel, said the ongoing wait for detail from the government on its planned reform, as well as the lack of schedule, is having an impact on the market.

“The frustrating lack of progress on this issue is forcing many leaseholders into very difficult decisions and what we are seeing is two distinct groups emerging as a result,” Frankel commented.

“For landlords it may not be such a big issue as they’re likely to be generating income from their property and can probably afford to wait it out.

“But there are a lot of leaseholders who desperately want to start enfranchisement proceedings to secure the freehold, or seek a lease extension, on their property and they are now in a potentially very costly waiting game. These are people who ordinarily could have started down that route but are waiting for these reforms to kick in, so they’re not in the market right now.

“It is a desperate position to be in, particularly for leaseholders who need to sell up this year or whose leasehold has only a limited number of years left to run.”

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