What is coming down the road for the management of leasehold property?
Emily Gray, FIRPM Assoc. RICS – Wednesday 8th November 2023.
King Charles III gave his first Kings Speech on 6th November 2023 and in it he set out the proposed policies and legislation for the forthcoming parliamentary session. Within the speech there was a brief mention of pushing forward with a Leasehold and Freehold Bill to empower leaseholders and bring forward long promised reform of the system.
The proposed bill is promised to make it cheaper and easier for residents of leasehold properties to extend their leases and group together to purchase their freeholds. Lease extensions will be taken from the current addition of 90 years to the term, to adding another 990 years to the term at a peppercorn Ground Rent, removing the need for repeated extensions. The qualifying criteria for lease extensions and Right to Manage will also be reviewed with removal of the need to have owned your property for 2 years before being able to qualify, and increasing the allowance of non-residential use within a property from 25% to 50% for the purposes of purchasing the freehold or acquiring the Right to Manage.
The briefing notes to the proposed bill also highlighted the intention to set a maximum time and fee for the provision of information on the sale of a property and replacing insurance commissions with transparent administration fees.
There was also mention of extending current access to redress and challenge over service charges to leaseholders and also bringing this in for owners of freehold houses with estate charges.
None of these items were unexpected for the industry. Many have been anticipated for a number of years but have yet to come to fruition. As with all of the announcements from the Kings Speech, the devil will be in the detail about how, and when, these items are incepted. Disappointingly, there was no mention of regulation of Property Managers – something which the vast majority of the industry is keen to see.
At Burns Hamilton we operate to the highest standards and, in the absence of any regulation by government, we work in line with the standards set by ARMA – the Association of Residential Managing Agents, part of The Property Institute. These high standards keep our Clients protected and, most importantly, our customer’s homes and finances safe. If you are interested in speaking to us about how we can assist with the management of your property, please contact our friendly team.