For some time I have written about pending changes for landlords and leaseholders. However, set against the backdrop of one black swan event after another, enfranchisement claims seemed low on the list of government priorities and I had suggested that one might be tempted to confine the matter to the long grass.
However, in series of recent interviews, Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities of the United Kingdom has pledged to bring forward laws to scrap most “feudal” leaseholds in England this year. He has reinforced that “we want to introduce legislation in the final parliamentary session — later this calendar year — in order to change the leasehold system." He goes on to say that “it is not easy in legal terms. When you’ve got a tangle of property laws going back hundreds of years, unstitching all of that is difficult." In the interviews Gove described leaseholds as “an outdated feudal system”.
Leasehold reform has been mooted for a number of years now and following the Law Commission's reports published in 2020, those advising clients on leasehold property have been waiting with baited breathe to see if and when the proposed reforms may come to pass. Gove's recent announcement suggests that the reform is firmly back on the agenda, but at this stage, we still have very little information as to what is planned and when it will happen.