Move to expand commonhold to reform the leasehold system

lease-agreement

Commonhold should become the easy alternative to leasehold ownership property in England and Wales, says the Law Commission.

As part of its review of leasehold, the Law Commission wants to simplify the way in which shared property owners, including flats, terraces and townhouses, can turn their development into commonhold tenure.

Tenure allows outright ownership

There are around 4.2 million leasehold properties in England alone, the majority of which are flats or apartments.

Under leasehold, the property owner must pay a lease for the land on which their home stands. That lease must be extended or renewed to ensure the property remains mortgageable, while the leaseholder must pay annual ground rent and maintenance charges to the landlord or freeholder.

Under commonhold, the property owner will own their home outright. They will form part of a limited company with the other owners in their development, which will raise the finance to maintain and insure the whole development.

That gives homeowners the security of knowing their home remains their own no matter what, while giving them control over costs.

Expert help on hand

At Capital Conveyancing, we work with a nationwide panel of expert conveyancing solicitors who can deal with your leasehold extension or your conversion to commonhold.

Professor Nick Hopkins, the law commissioner leading the review of leasehold, launched a public consultation on the move to simplify commonhold.

He said: “Commonhold provides a once in a generation opportunity to rethink how we own property in England and Wales and offers homeowners an alternative system to leasehold.

“It involves a culture change, moving away from an ‘us and them’ mindset towards ‘us and ourselves’.

“We want to hear what people think of our proposals so we can be sure the commonhold system will work for homeowners and the wider property sector.”

The consultation runs until March 10, allowing interested parties to have their say on leasehold and commonhold.

About the Author Frances Traynor

Fran is the content writer for Capital Conveyancing, producing articles on all aspects of the conveyancing process and around the UK property market in general. If there is a topic you'd like to see covered on these pages, please drop Fran a line on Frances@searchesuk.co.uk.

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