Radical thinking about reforms to the current leasehold system

24 November 2015

Senior Associate, Jane Canham, comments on the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners Conference 2015.

The “ three wise men”  - Anthony Radevsky, Philip Rainey and Thomas Jefferies  formed the panel in a debate expertly chaired by Joshua Rozenberg at yesterday’s Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners conference.

Some suggestions for future reform of the leasehold sector were sensible, others probably unworkable  and certainly likely to be unpopular in some sectors of the residential property world.

In the enfranchisement arena the proposal to amend the ownership requirement for  those wishing to extend their lease  to mirror that in collective enfranchisement was widely welcomed with the majority in agreement that  there is no need to have two different requirements and that it would avoid issues for new buyers where assignment of the benefit of a notice can be an inadvertent trap for many.

Philip Rainey also takes the view that instead of proposing a premium in the notice seeking that lease extension and a landlord inserting their proposed premium in the counter notice we ought to revert to a 1967 Act style system with no requirement to insert a premium in the notice and thus avoiding further traps.

For the developer and institutional landlord the suggestion that no new ground rents ought to be granted might be unpopular but as practitioners we must challenge the existing laws and look beyond to how they can be sensibly changed in the future. Ultimately those who work in this arena and not politicians are best placed to consider  changes  whether radical or otherwise and Philip Rainey along with his fellow wise men  are certainly doing that.

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