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LONDON-The Government has re-introduced the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Bill it described as ‘The end of feudalsim’ in the last Parliament. It had its First Reading in the House of Lords last week and re-introduces the provisions for the creation of a new plan for the ownership of flats and other multi-occupied dwellings, called commonhold, and a wider range of measures to improve the rights and conditions of leaseholders in England and Wales.

The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Bill is designed to give people in commonhold the opportunity to own the freehold of their homes, and have an interest in an organisation that would own and manage the common parts of the development they live in. For leaseholders, the reforms aim to make it easier for them to buy their freeholds and, for those who do not wish to buy, better options for managing their own homes and greater protection against abuse from unscrupulous property owners.

David Marcus, a consultant at specialist property law firm Forsters, says: ‘The newspapers regularly report on incidents where owners have made totally unreasonable claims on lessees who have had little recourse other than to pay out or be threatened with eviction. The new commonhold ownership will allow occupiers to own their flats in perpetuity, therefore gaining the controlling interest of the property, while their title-deed will also give them membership of the Commonhold Association which will own the land, the structure of the building and the common parts.’

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