Finance News

Government launches Commonhold Council to prepare market for 'widespread uptake'

Rozi Jones
14th May 2021
Houses house of parliament commons government govt gov
"The Commonhold Council will help to reinvigorate commonhold, complementing our recommendations for a reformed legal framework."

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has launched a Commonhold Council – an advisory panel of leasehold groups and industry experts who will inform the government on the future of this type of homeownership.

The government says the panel will prepare homeowners and the market for "the widespread uptake" of the collective form of homeownership.

The commonhold model provides a structure for homeowners to collectively own the building their flat is in, with a greater say on their building’s management, shared facilities and related costs. There are no hidden costs or charges, preventing some of the egregious practices currently seen in some leaseholds.

The Commonhold Council, chaired by Building Safety Minister Lord Greenhalgh, will form a partnership of leasehold groups and industry representatives. These members – including Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, the National Leasehold Campaign, UK Finance and the British Property Federation - will bring their expertise on the consumer needs and market readiness for commonhold within the housing sector.

The move follows recommendations made by the Law Commission to simplify the commonhold system and expand its use for both new homes and existing leasehold buildings. The Government will respond to these recommendations in due course.

It also builds on the announcement in the Queen’s Speech, where government set out its intention to restrict ground rents for new residential long leases. Earlier this year, the government also announced changes that will mean that any leaseholder who chooses to can extend the lease on their home by 990 years, on payment of a premium, and will no longer pay any ground rent to the freeholder.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “We want to give homeowners across the country the autonomy they deserve.

“The new Commonhold Council launched today will - together with leasehold groups and industry experts - pave the way for homeowners in England to access the benefits that come with greater control over your home.

“We are taking forward the biggest reforms to English property law for 40 years – and the widespread introduction of commonhold builds on our work to provide more security for millions of existing leaseholders across England, putting an end to rip-off charges and creating a fairer system.”

Professor Nick Hopkins, Commissioner for Property Law at the Law Commission, added: “The Commonhold Council will help to reinvigorate commonhold, complementing our recommendations for a reformed legal framework.

“I am delighted to be able to support the Council’s work, which will pave the way for commonhold to be used widely, ensuring homeowners will be able to call their homes their own.”

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