Almost 12 months ago the government announced imminent plans to reform leasehold in England and Wales - removing ground rents and allowing lease extensions of 990 years, reforming the calculation of premiums payable and seeking to promote commonhold - which was welcomed by leaseholders although the timing and the precise circumstances in which ground rents would be reduced to zero, was unclear.
Yesterday saw some development in the reform and The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill received its second unopposed reading in the House of Commons. The bill, which has already been passed by the House of Lords, will now undergo further scrutiny by parliament as part of the Bill passage before receiving royal assent and becoming law. There is still the lingering question of “when” and there is no indication as to when the Government will seek to implement any of these changes (and, in particular, the long-heralded, more far reaching reforms which have been discussed in the context of a suggested second bill) and find sufficient Parliamentary time in which to introduce any of these measures.
It is, clear that change is on the horizon, but until the Government provides some further clarification, the advice must be “watch this space”.