King Charles has reconfirmed the government’s commitment to the Renters Reform Bill in his first King’s speech as monarch.
As expected, he announced that the Bill would continue its passage through Parliament during the next session and told MPs and peers: “Renters will benefit from stronger security of tenure and better value while landlords will benefit from reforms to provide certainty that they can regain their properties when needed".
The speech also included confirmation of the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, which he explained would, “reform the housing market by making it cheaper and easier for leaseholders to purchase their freehold and tackling the exploitation of millions of homeowners through punitive service charges”.
Industry groups welcomed the announcement, including Andrew Bulmer, CEO of The Property Institute, who says for far too long leaseholders have had to deal with a complex and out-dated system that often doesn’t work well for them.
“We urge the government to be ambitious in the scale of this Bill and ensure it improves transparency for leaseholders, reduces unnecessary costs and makes the system fairer,” he adds.
“This Bill must include introducing regulation of property managers and mandatory qualifications, to raise standards and improve competency across the sector.”
Rob Poole (pictured), director of property management firm Glide, part of Leaders Romans Group, believes leasehold reform should be widely welcomed – specifically because the intention is to reform rather than replace leasehold.
“There has been a lot of noise around replacing leasehold with commonhold, but this is unworkable on many levels,” he adds.
“With commonhold for large blocks such as those that we manage, dispute resolution is so much more complicated because of the numbers involved, that many disputes may never be revolved. This would be compounded by the lack of a first-tier tribunal.”