Leading letting agent Theresa Wallace is urging the industry to get involved in a government consultation that seeks to introduce a fairer system for leaseholders in England and Wales.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (main pic) wants to enable more leaseholders in mixed-use buildings to buy the freehold through enfranchisement or to take over the management of their building through the right to manage.
The proposals will have far-ranging implications for many agents, particularly those involved in block management.
Under the current system, if shops and other similar properties take up more than 25% of the total floorspace of a developments, then leaseholders cannot collectively bid to take control of their building.
New proposals would give them the right to manage or buy their building outright, by increasing this limit to 50%.
Other proposals aim to make it cheaper for leaseholders to collectively buy their freehold. A ‘mandatory leaseback’ would require landlords to keep a lease on some properties in the building.
This means reducing the cost of a collective buyout of their building – making it a reality for thousands more leaseholders.
The government is also calling for views on changes to support greater use of commonhold as an alternative form of homeownership to leasehold, including for those in shared ownership schemes in England. The consultation closes on 22nd February.
Wallace (pictured), who is chair of The Lettings Industry Council and also a lettings senior at Savills, says: “The Law Commission proposals would allow more residential leaseholders to buy the freehold of their property – through enfranchisement – or take over the management of their building – through the right to manage – and so it is important that letting agents and landlords engage with this consultation.”