Louie Burns, the MD of Leasehold Solutions, has questioned whether the Law Commission’s examination of lease extension and enfranchisement will bring about the “seismic changes” that are needed.
Mr Burns has criticised the “vague platitudes” of the Law Commission, which set out its terms of reference at the end of last week for its Residential Law Reform project. The final report expected in 2019.
Mr Burns also feared that home owners may mistakenly let the time left on their leases run down while they wait for legislation.
He said: “We welcome any announcement that promises to bring about meaningful reform of the leasehold system, but we are concerned that the scope of the Law Commission’s review is based on vague platitudes such as ‘will consider’, ‘will seek to’ and ‘will review’.
“Ultimately there is no guarantee that the reforms will deliver the seismic changes needed to bring meaningful improvements to the leasehold system, nor that the Government will actually implement the Commission’s recommendations when they are published.
“We also worry that many leaseholders will now not take action to remedy the issues created by their falling leases, while they await fresh legislation from Government. In reality it will be several years before the Law Commission’s report is published, and even longer until the Government is in a position to propose legislation to tackle the many problems with the leasehold system.”
LKP is contacted regularly by leaseholders seeking advice on whether to extend their leases now, or wait for legislative reform.
If the leases are comfortably above 82 years, leaseholders can afford to see what emerges from government.
But those whose homes are evaporating in value with short leases probably should extend anyway to stop further erosion of wealth.
Leasehold reform campaigners have expressed concern that home owners could mistakenly delay extending or buying their freehold while they wait for the Law Commission to review the sector.