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Written Statement: Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act and the Renters (Reform) Bill

row of houses in Caernarfon

Julie James, Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Local Government and Planning.

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act was granted Royal Assent on 24 May 2024.

The Act brings substantial improvements to the law and significant new rights for homeowners in Wales. These include:

  • Increasing the standard lease extension term for houses and flats to 990-years (up from 90 years for flats, and 50 years for houses), with ground rent reduced to a peppercorn (zero financial value) upon payment of a premium.
  • Introducing a new right to remove the ground rent from an existing lease without extending its term, upon payment of a premium.
  • Removing the so-called ‘marriage value’ used in calculation of the premium payable to extend or buy out a lease.
  • Removing the requirement for a leaseholder to have owned their house or flat for 2 years before they can extend or buy out a lease.
  • Increasing the 25% ‘non-residential’ limit which applies to mixed use properties, and which may prevent leaseholders in buildings with a mixture of homes and other uses such as shops and offices, from buying their freehold or taking over management of their buildings.
  • Banning the use of leasehold for most new houses.
  • Requiring transparency over leaseholders’ service charges.
  • Replacing buildings insurance commissions for managing agents and landlords with transparent administration fees.
  • Scrapping the presumption that leaseholders must pay their landlords’ legal costs when challenging poor practice.
  • Setting a maximum fee and time for the provision of information required to support the sale of a leasehold property or freehold property subject to estate management charges, to make sales of such properties quicker.
  • Granting freehold homeowners on private and mixed tenure estates the same enhanced rights of redress as leaseholders, including a right to apply to the tribunal to appoint a manager in place of an estate charge manager.

To read the full statement please select the following link: Written Statement: Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act and the Renters (Reform) Bill (6 June 2024) | GOV.WALES

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