In a recent statement in the House of Commons, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston, Justin Madders, announced that he will delay the second reading of the Leasehold Reform Bill until 26th October 2018.
Championed by Justin Madders, deputy chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on leasehold reform, the Bill seeks to introduce a statutory formula for enfranchisement and lease extensions - similar to schemes in Northern Ireland and Scotland - that will end the copious amount of court cases and monotonous parliamentary debates on the rising costs in the industry.
Originally the seventh bill on the Order Paper for the 2nd February, the Leasehold Reform Bill initially had very little chance of being debated. However, after former Communities Secretary Sajid Javid called for the Law Commission to present a new, simple and inexpensive scheme by summer 2018, Madders decided that delaying the Bill by eight months will help will attract more attention to the leasehold reform debate. If the recommendations in the Government's summer report is broadly in line with the proposals in his Bill, Madders' Bill will have a much greater chance of being debated in court and will stand a much better chance of the Government endorsing it.
‘Hope Not Lost’
After former Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, promised to free leaseholders from the 'feudal' leasehold practices that continue to take place throughout the UK, the Government had appeared to take a great stride in trying to prevent the future exploitation of leaseholders.
However, after the Court of Appeal ruled against Parthenia's model in favour of a major London freeholder last month, campaigners' hopes of reducing leasehold costs were dented. Despite the case revealing a number of flaws in the existing "relativity graphs", the court unanimously rejected the leaseholder-friendly Parthenia model in favour of the existing models; of which are commissioned by some the country’s most powerful freeholders.
Despite this, not all hope for a reformed leasehold valuation model has been lost.
Justin Madders said in his statement that he was “very pleased" with the Government and Sajid Javid's positive response to the concept of a newly reformed, straightforward, and inexpensive system for purchasing the freehold of properties.
In a closing statement, Madders said: "I have had positive conversations with the Housing Minister about the other steps that I am calling on the Government to take and I hope that they will use this opportunity to do what is right."
For the sake of the UK's 4.1 million leaseholders, we at Regency Leasehold hope that the Government sticks to its word.
For future updates regarding the Private Members' Bill, please continue to visit our News page and check out our latest posts.
ADMIN (2018) 'Justin Madders delays Leasehold Reform Bill and calls on the Government to provide justice for leaseholders', Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, 2 February [Online]. Available at: https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/justin-madders-delays-leasehold-reform-bill-calls-government-provide-justice-leaseholders (Accessed: 4 February 2018)