12 February 2021
Closure of consultation on energy performance
Closure of consultation: Improving home energy performance through lenders
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12 February 2021
Closure of consultation: Improving home energy performance through lenders
07 January 2021
The Government announces that it will establish a Commonhold Council made up of leasehold stakeholders and intends to create a new right for leaseholders to extend a lease of a flat or a house by 990 years.
17 December 2020
The Government announces a £30 million Waking Watch Relief Fund for the installation of fire alarm systems in private sector high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding after 17 December 2020. In addition, the deadline to apply for the £1 billion Building Safety Fund for the removal and replacement of unsafe non-aluminium composite material cladding systems is extended from 31 December 2021 to 30 June 2021.
18 November 2020
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launches a consultation: Improving home energy performance through lenders seeking views on the principles of how best to improve the energy performance of domestic properties with a mortgage through obligations on lenders. These include a potential requirement for all lenders to publicly disclose information on the energy performance of their portfolios.
15 October 2020
A House of Commons Briefing Paper: “Freehold houses; estate charges” is published. The paper provides background on the issues surrounding freehold estate charges and sets out the Government’s proposals for reform in England, which include a proposal to give rights to freeholders of private estates similar to the rights of leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of service charges.
12 October 2020
Closure of Fire Safety Consultation
04 September 2020
Closure of consultation on the draft code of practice.
06 August 2020
The MHCLG recommends the introduction of a scheme which offers properties for sale with a 30% discount from the market value to people living locally who are first time buyers or key workers. The Government's response proposes:
21 July 2020
The Law Commission publishes its reports on Enfranchisement, Right to Manage and Commonhold proposing some fundamental changes to the residential leasehold sector including recommending commonhold to replace leasehold and overhauling the Enfranchisement and Right to Manage processes.
20 July 2020
The Home Office publishes a consultation on Fire Safety to strengthen the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and implement the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report recommendations.
20 July 2020
The Government has described the draft Bill as bringing forward “the biggest improvements to building safety in nearly 40 years”.
20 July 2020
A draft overarching Code of Practice for the regulation of property agents is published upon which The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and The Property Ombudsmen are consulting. The Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) Steering Group will review responses after closure of the consultation on 4 September 2020.
09 July 2020
The MHCLG has published a report estimating the number of leasehold dwellings in England in 2018/2019. The report estimates that there were 4.5 million leasehold dwellings in England representing about 19% of housing stock in England.
01 May 2020
Closure of First Homes Consultation
02 April 2020
The headline announcements from the Government’s response are:
27 March 2020
Following the Coronavirus outbreak, a new Practice Direction is introduced into the Civil Procedure Rule 1998 which stays all new and existing possession proceedings including proceedings for forfeiture of long leases for 90 days from 27 March 2020.
19 March 2020
The Government introduces the Fire Safety Bill into Parliament to bring multi-occupied residential premises into the scope of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
11 March 2020
The Government announces a £1 billion fund in 2020 to 2021 for the removal and replacement of unsafe non-aluminium composite material cladding systems (including high-pressure laminate, wood and other class C/D cladding) from high-rise residential buildings in both the private and social housing sectors.
03 March 2020
The Housing Ombudsman publishes a revised Scheme giving stronger powers in relation to housing redress. The Scheme will take effect from 1 July 2020 and will include:
28 February 2020
The Competition and Markets Authority (“the CMA”) publishes an updated report on their investigation into whether there have been breaches of consumer protection law in the residential leasehold housing sector and the next steps, including future enforcement action by the CMA and the areas where the CMA considers that the law needs to change in the future.
The CMA raises concerns in relation to:
The CMA announces it will be taking enforcement action in relation to certain instances of mis-selling of leasehold property and to address high and escalating ground rents. Its investigation continues.
24 February 2020
The MHCLG publishes its response to the consultation: Redress for Purchasers of New Build Homes and the New Homes Ombudsman. It announces that the Government intends to introduce new legislation obliging developers of new build homes to belong to the New Homes Ombudsman and to implement a code of practice for developers building and selling new build homes.
11 February 2020
A House of Commons Briefing Paper: Leasehold high-rise flats: who pays for fire safety work is published. The paper considers progress in implementing remediation works and issues raised by landlords and residents.
07 February 2020
The MHCLG launches a consultation: First Homes. The consultation proposes the introduction of a scheme which offers properties for sale with a 30% discount from market value to people living locally who are first time buyers or key workers.
09 January 2020
The Law Commission publishes its report on options to reduce the price payable on enfranchisement. The report proposes three alternative schemes of valuation and a menu of sub-proposals which can be added to any of the three valuation schemes for the Government to consider. It concludes that whichever final valuation method is selected must sufficiently compensate a landlord for interference with its property rights.
19 December 2019
In the background briefing to the Queen’s Speech, the Building Safety Bill and Fire Safety Bill are announced to put in place new regulatory regimes for building safety and extend the Fire Safety Order to building owners and managers of multi-occupied residential premises of any height. The Bills are not published in draft form.
19 December 2019
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Building Societies Association and UK Finance agree a new industry-wide voluntary valuation process in relation to buildings above 18 metres. The External Wall Fire Review Process requires a fire safety assessment to be carried out by a suitably qualified person and is valid for five years.
30 October 2019
Grenfell Tower Inquiry publishes Phase 1 report dealing with the events of 14 June 2017.
The Phase 1 report makes a finding at paragraph 2.16 that it was not the original intention “to include in Phase 1 of the Inquiry and investigation into the extent to which the building complied with the requirements of the Building Regulations. However…..there was compelling evidence that the external walls of the building failed to comply with Requirement B4(1) of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010, in that they did not adequately resist the spread of fire having regard to the height, use and position of the building.”
A number of recommendations are made in the report to introduce new legislation to require owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings to provide specific information and documentation to local fire and rescue services and to inspect fire doors to ensure they comply with applicable legislative standards. In addition, owners/managers of all residential buildings (not limited to high-rise buildings) to provide fire safety instructions for all occupants in the building.
07 October 2019
Closure of consultation: Electric vehicle charging in residential and non-residential buildings.
29 September 2019
Closure of consultation in respect of the discussion paper: Making home ownership affordable.
28 August 2019
The MHCLG publishes a discussion paper on making home ownership affordable which proposes to introduce a simplified model for shared ownership of residential properties.
The main proposals are the introduction of a new national simplified model for shared ownership, permitting increases of shares by 1% or more (currently the minimum incremental increase is 10%) and the removal of pre-emption clauses allowing landlords an exclusive right to market the property for eight weeks.
21 August 2019
Closure of consultation: Redress for purchasers of new build homes and the New Homes Ombudsman: a technical consultation.
06 August 2019
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee publishes an updated Briefing Paper on Leasehold and Commonhold reform.
31 July 2019
Closure of consultation: Building a safer future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system.
18 July 2019
The working group on Regulation of Property Agents publishes its report. The main recommendations are:
15 July 2019
The Department of Transport publishes a consultation: Electric vehicle charging in residential and non-residential buildings proposing to alter building regulations for new residential buildings to include requirements for electric vehicle charge points.
03 July 2019
The Government publishes its response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee Report on Leasehold Reform.
The Government confirms in its response that it agrees the following recommendations of the Committee:
27 June 2019
The MHCLG publishes a consultation: Redress for purchasers of new build homes and the New Homes Ombudsman: a technical consultation. The consultation seeks views on the role of a New Homes Ombudsman including its powers and a code of practice for developers of new build homes.
27 June 2019
11 June 2019
The Competition and Markets Authority launches a formal investigation into the leasehold housing market.
06 June 2019
The MHCLG publishes a consultation: Building a safer future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system. The proposals include a new regime for residential buildings over 18 metres and the introduction of the concept of a “golden thread” of information on the structure of the building and changes made to it to be held digitally and updated throughout the life cycle of the building. In addition, new concepts of “dutyholders” and “accountable persons” to have clear responsibilities (to be defined in legislation following the consultation).
09 May 2019
The Government announces a £200 million fund to replace unsafe aluminium composite cladding from privately owned buildings over 18 metres high with applications to be made by 31 December 2020.
30 April 2019
Closure of the Law Commission’s Consultation: Leasehold home ownership: exercising the right to manage.
28 March 2019
The MCHLG announces 40 developers, agents and landlords have signed up to an industry pledge agreeing not to include a clause in any new lease for ground rent to double more frequently than every 20 years and to identify and amend any existing leases within their portfolios where those clauses are present and include a link ground rent increase to RPI.
19 March 2019
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee publishes its report following its inquiry into leasehold reform.
The headline recommendations made by the Committee include:
10 March 2019
Closure of Law Commission consultation Reinvigorating commonhold as an alternative to leasehold ownership.
28 January 2019
The Law Commission publishes a consultation Leasehold home ownership: exercising the right to manage.
The Law Commission’s intention is to simplify the right to manage (“RTM”) process and to give power to the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to waive procedural mistakes so that less claims to acquire the RTM fail.
In addition, it proposes to relax the current qualifying criteria so that buildings with more than 25% non-residential parts could qualify for the RTM and to establish clearer rules for the transfer of information between the landlord and the RTM Company in relation to management matters.
It also proposes to permit an RTM Company to acquire the RTM over multiple buildings on an estate rather than, as is currently necessary, requiring a single RTM Company to acquire the RTM over a single building on an estate.
24 January 2019
The Government publishes its response to Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market. Proposals include:
07 January 2019
Closure of the Law Commission’s consultation: Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease.
10 December 2018
The Law Commission publishes a consultation paper: Reinvigorating commonhold: the alternative to leasehold ownership.
The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 introduced Commonhold as an alternative structure to leasehold. It allows for the ownership of a freehold flat within a larger residential development without leases or third party freeholders and there is no forfeiture because the unit holders own their freehold.
The Law Commission’s proposals for commonhold include that it should be possible to convert to commonhold without the unanimous consent of leaseholders and that the threshold for conversion should be 50% or 80% of long leaseholders of the flats in the building.
26 November 2018
13 November 2018
The MHCLG publishes Considering the case for a Housing Court: call for evidence to consider the experiences of private landlords in possession actions in the County Court, the experiences of Court and Tribunal users and views on the transfer of property cases from the Courts to the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and vice-versa.
01 November 2018
The Tenants’ Associations (Provisions Relating to Recognition and Provision of Information) (England) Regulations 2018 come into force with the aim of making it easier for tenants’ associations of residential properties in England to become legally recognised and to obtain information from landlords about other tenants who have a legal right to join a tenants’ association. One of the main changes is to reduce the threshold for an association to be legally recognised so that it must be recognised where it represents at least 50% of the qualifying tenants.
15 October 2018
The Government publishes its response to Recognising residents’ associations, and their power to request information about tenants. It concludes that it intends to introduce new legislation in the autumn of 2018.
15 October 2018
The MHCLG publishes the Government’s consultation paper: Implementing reforms to the leasehold system in England: A consultation.
The consultation provides more detail on the Government’s proposals to ban the sale of leasehold houses and to cap ground rents in new residential leases. The key points are:
20 September 2018
The Law Commission publishes a consultation paper entitled: Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease.
The consultation makes a number of proposals to overhaul the procedure for the leasehold enfranchisement of houses and flats including:
Individual Acquisition of Freehold
Procedure & Valuation
24 July 2018
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee launches an inquiry into leasehold reform.
26 June 2018
The MHCLG publishes a How to lease guide for current and prospective leaseholders setting out the difference between leasehold and freehold property and the rights, obligations and implications of being a leaseholder.
16 April 2018
Closure of consultation: Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market: A Consultation.
08 April 2018
The MHCLG publishes its response to the call for evidence on improving the home buying and selling process and announces that it intends to publish guides on “How to Buy” and “How to Sell” with the aim of ensuring customers are better informed of the home buying and selling process and to potentially limit fees for the provision of leasehold information and to standardise the leasehold information form.
01 April 2018
The MHCLG publishes the Government’s response to the call for evidence on protecting consumers in the letting and managing agents market. The key proposals are:
05 March 2018
The MHCLG publishes the Government’s response to the housing White Paper consultation: Fixing our broken housing market.
18 February 2018
The MHCLG publishes a consultation: Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market: A Consultation to examine options for improving consumer redress in housing.
21 December 2017
The DCLG publishes the Government’s response to Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market. The proposals include:
22 October 2017
The DCLG publishes a call for evidence seeking views on improving the home buying and selling process: Improving the home buying and selling process: Call for Evidence
17 October 2017
The DCLG publishes a call for evidence on Protecting consumers in the letting and managing agent market seeking views on whether a new regulatory model is needed for agents in the leasehold and private rented sectors.
19 September 2017
Closure of consultation: Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market.
19 September 2017
25 July 2017
The DCLG publishes a consultation: Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market. The proposals include:
25 July 2017
The DCLG publishes a consultation: Consultation on recognising residents’ associations, and their power to request information about tenants.
The Government proposes to make it easier for a secretary of a tenants’ association to obtain contact information of qualifying tenants from a landlord to increase the likelihood of the association being formally recognised under Section 29 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
07 February 2017
The then DCLG publishes a Housing White Paper: Fixing our broken housing market, commencing a consultation on changes to planning policy and legislation in relation to planning for housing, sustainable development and the environment.
The paper details the Government’s intention to review the planning system, and the private rented market to, in the Government’s words, “make renting fairer” for tenants and the leasehold sector to “promote transparency and fairness” by reviewing ground rent structures and the sale of leasehold properties.