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Leasehold reform 'will not be in King's speech' says former housing minister

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Former housing minister Lord Greenhalgh has expressed doubts that leasehold reforms will be included in the King's Speech this autumn.

In an interview with Leasehold Knowledge, he said that despite being very complex legislation, the background work had been done.

'Even if you ran out of time and you weren't able to get the Bill through Parliament, at least there's something that can go through the pre-legislative scrutiny, so you get a better Bill at the end of it. I am just sceptical of getting it through both houses in time.'�

However, he said the good news for leaseholders was that every major political party wanted it to happen. 'It's now become above party. Everyone is in favour of reform.'�

Radical reforms

The government is preparing to bring in legislation which includes reforming the process of enfranchisement valuation used to calculate the cost of extending a lease or buying the freehold, ditching rules that prevent owners from buying the freehold to their property if a small part of the building is given over to commercial use, and allowing owners of leasehold houses to be able to extend their leaseholds by 990 years at a zero ground rent.

Speaking about rules limiting the number of landlords affected by the cladding scandal who face the full remediation bills for their block, Lord Greenhalgh admitted he would have liked to see the threshold set higher to protect smaller landlords and those with retirement properties.

'We were worrying about this when the Building Safety Act was passing through the Lords and there was a bit of ping pong around the number of properties, and we increased the number of properties from two to three,'� he said.

'You always finish your time in government feeling that you've done as much as you can in the time that you had. And then you realize that there are areas that still remain unresolved.'�

Read more about the Government's leasehold reform.

Read the interview in full.


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