Leasehold enfranchisement

Current project status

  • Initiation: Could include discussing scope and terms of reference with lead Government Department
  • Pre-consultation: Could include approaching interest groups and specialists, producing scoping and issues papers, finalising terms of project
  • Consultation: Likely to include consultation events and paper, making provisional proposals for comment
  • Policy development: Will include analysis of consultation responses. Could include further issues papers and consultation on draft Bill
  • Reported: Usually recommendations for law reform but can be advice to government, scoping report or other recommendations

We have published our Consultation Paper on leasehold enfranchisement reform: “Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease”. We have extended the consultation period, it now closes on 07 January 2019.

We previously published a summary paper on proposed solutions for leasehold houses in July 2018.

Download our Consultation Paper on leasehold enfranchisement

Download the summary of the Consultation Paper

Download the Welsh summary of the Consultation Paper

Our project on leasehold enfranchisement involves a review of leaseholders’ rights to:

  • purchase the freehold of their house
  • participate, with other leaseholders, in the collective purchase of the freehold of a group of flats
  • extend the lease of their house or flat

Responses to our 13th Programme consultation criticised the current legislation as being complex, inconsistent and costly.

Terms of reference

Government has asked us to review the enfranchisement process to make it simpler, easier, quicker and more cost effective, and to examine the options to reduce the price payable by leaseholders to enfranchise.

Our full terms of reference are available here.

Consultation Paper

We have now published our Consultation Paper on leasehold enfranchisement reform, “Leasehold home ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease”. In it, we make provisional proposals for reform designed to provide a new scheme of qualifying criteria for enfranchisement rights, enhance and improve the enfranchisement rights themselves, and provide a new unified procedure for all claims.

The provisional proposals would:

  • provide a better deal for leaseholders by making enfranchisement easier, quicker and more cost effective;
  • reform the existing rights of leaseholders, including removing the separate rules for houses and for flats; and
  • simplify, and reduce the legal and other costs of, the procedure for acquiring a freehold or an extended lease.

As requested by Government, we also set out options for reducing the price payable by leaseholders to exercise those rights, whilst ensuring sufficient compensation for landlords to reflect their legitimate property interests. We invite consultees’ views on our provisional proposals.

A short summary of what our proposals mean for leaseholders of houses is here.

A short summary of what our proposals mean for leaseholders of flats is here.

A short summary of what our proposals mean for landlords is here.

A short explanation of why the Law Commission is discussing landlords’ human rights is here.

A short explanation of the scope of our enfranchisement project and the other work that could help leaseholders is here.

A short explanation of how our proposals affect the ‘fleecehold’ problem is here.

Next steps

Our consultation is now open and closes on 07 January 2019.

Comments may be sent using the online form. Where possible, it would be helpful if this form was used. We have also created a short survey, which asks leaseholders (and former leaseholders) for information about their leases, and about their experiences of the current enfranchisement process. The survey is available here.

Alternatively, comments may be sent:

By email to propertyandtrust@lawcommission.gov.uk.

By post to Leasehold Enfranchisement Team, Law Commission, 1st Floor, Tower, 52 Queen’s Anne Gate, London, SW1H 9AG.

(If you send your comments by post, it would be helpful if, whenever possible, you could also send them electronically.)

We will publish our final report, and assist with the implementation of our recommendations, in 2019.

Contact

By email to:   propertyandtrust@lawcommission.gov.uk

Documents and downloads

Project details

Area of law

Property, family and trust law

Commissioner

Professor Nicholas Hopkins