18 May 2021

Commonhold Council launched

An advisory panel, including Senior Real Estate Consultant Damian Greenish, has been launched to inform the UK Government on the future of commonhold homeownership.

The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has formed the Council following recommendations from the Law Commission to simplify the commonhold system and expand its use for new homes and existing leasehold buildings.

What is a Commonhold property?

Commonhold will give homeowners more autonomy over the decisions that are made. They will be in control of their building in what is known as the building’s ‘commonhold association'.

The commonhold model is used widely around the world. It enables homeowners to collectively own the building their flat is in and therefore will give them greater control of the building’s management, shared facilities, and related costs.

Changes to property law

The announcement of a new Commonhold Council follows the UK Government’s announcement in January on leasehold reform and wholescale changes to property law. The reforms include new rights to extend leases, caps on ground rents, abolishing ‘marriage value’, an online leasehold calculator, and reducing ground rents to zero for all new retirement properties.

At the Queen’s Speech on 11 May, a Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill was announced. The Bill’s First reading took place on 12 May, starting the Bill’s journey through Parliament. It aims to help tackle the inconsistency and ambiguity of ground rents for future leaseholders.

Damian Greenish, Senior Real Estate Consultant at Forsters commented: "The changes being proposed by Government to the residential leasehold sector are the most radical we have seen for a generation. It is a privilege to be asked to help Government bring them into effect and ensure that they meet the high expectations of both freeholders and leaseholders."

Robert Jenrick MP, Housing Secretary commented: "We want to give homeowners across the country the autonomy they deserve. The widespread introduction of commonhold builds on our work to provide more security for millions of existing leaseholders across England, putting an end to rip-off charges and creating a fairer system."

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