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Abolish all Leasehold Residential Laws and replace with Commonhold

6 Comments 2nd July 2010

There are around 2 million people in England and Waled who "own" leasehold flats or houses. Leasehold diminishes with time so it is a diminishing asset. Even though these people bought their home at a market rate (usually with a mortgage), the freeholder can confiscate the property after court proceedings if the leaseholder does not pay the full amount that the Freeholder or Managing Agent demands for Service Charges and Maintenance of the building (which is usually significantly more than the cost that you would be charged using usual market processes).

This is a feudal based system. It is outdated, extremely complicated, unfair and not fit for the 21st Century. It should be replaced with a universal Commonhold or equivalent system that gives residents the power of freehold.

Although Freeholders can currently confiscate the property of leaseholders without compensation, what I am proposing is that limited compensation is paid by leaseholders to "buy out" their freeholder. For those on low incomes there should be a special scheme which offers interest free loans  to leaseholders (administered by Local Councils or Banks) in order that they can buy their property outright and enjoy the full benefit of home ownership.

At the very least, this government should repeal the law of  "forfeiture" (Law of Property Act 1925) which enables freeholders to confiscate the property of a leaseholder without compensation.





Why does this matter?

It is important to abolish leasehold for the following reasons:-

1. People should feel safe and secure in their own home.

2. The leasehold system is feudal-based and outdated.

3. It is a very complicated system that few people can understand.

4. It is unfair because leaseholders do not have full security of tenure and can be charged excessive sums by Freeholders/Managing Agents.


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