image of a key with leasehold on it

Labour will ‘abolish leasehold in first 100 days of Government’

The Labour Party has planned to abolish leasehold in the first 100 days of Government if it wins the next General Election.

It has previously been confirmed that the government is no longer planning to abolish the leasehold system in England and Wales this year.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, previously pledged to scrap the “outdated, feudal” system as part of the next phase of leasehold reform being introduced by the government.

Shadow Housing Secretary Lisa Nandy told Sky News:

“There are five million people struggling with this feudal and archaic system. England and Wales are outliers in the world of holding onto this system

You save up, get a mortgage to buy your own home only to find out you don’t actually own it. You can be hit with arbitrary unfair challenges, you don’t know where they come from, nobody is under pressure to explain why they are charging you that money. For some people it is just an irritation, for others it is ruining their lives.”

Katie Kendrick of the National Leasehold Campaign said:

“The National Leasehold Campaign and The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership have spent many years highlighting the many abuses of the leasehold system to members of parliament across all political parties.

Leasehold really is a cross-party issue which needs cross-party solutions. We are delighted Labour has announced this pledge to abolish leasehold but as we know the history of leasehold reform over the last 150 years has been one that repeats itself like a feudal ground hog day.

If this Government fails to deliver on their promises 5m leaseholders will be looking at the next one, whoever that is, to finish the job and implement the widespread adoption of commonhold.”

Nandy added:

“The proposals would go further still to support those on low incomes and those who have found themselves trapped in leasehold by improving mortgage lenders’ confidence in commonhold to increase the choice of financing available for homebuyers.

They would allow shared ownership leases to be included within commonhold and enable commonhold to be used for larger, mixed-use developments that accommodate not only residential properties, but shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.”

Also, responding to the update, National Leasehold Campaign said:

“We welcome Labours support to urge government to get on with urgent legislation to implement the Law Commission recommendations in full and ultimately phase out leasehold by ensuring that Commonhold is viable and able to flourish.

The National Leasehold Campaign & Leasehold Knowledge Partnership have spent years highlighting the many abuses leaseholders face to members of parliament across all political parties. LKP also act as the secretariat and technical advisors to the APPG on Leasehold and Commonhold reform.  All political parties agree the system is grossly unfair and stacked against innocent leaseholders, yet nothing has changed, and the issues leaseholders are facing perpetuated.

We need to focus on what the government can deliver in their remaining time instead of what it cannot otherwise we risk of them running out of time and not getting any meaningful reform through and all leaseholders remaining trapped in a state of Leasehold Limbo.

Government can and must still deliver on the many leasehold reforms they have promised in this session of parliament such as abolishing marriage value and making lease extensions easier, cheaper, and quicker. We need regulation of managing agents. Leaseholders cannot wait any longer and have had enough of broken promises. We urge government to stop talking the talk and deliver leasehold legislation part 2. Words are meaningless without action.”

14 Responses

  1. Typical politicians; speak first and ask questions later. Who is asking lenders, conveyancers, homeowners, freeholders, and management companies how and if this will work? Have the Tories and Labour effectively doomed any future sale of Leasehold to the bin pending any changes they want to make? 100 days does not seem long enough to unravel years and years of issues. Everyone I am sure agree that the current system is not ideal but all this talk and no action does not help.

  2. The reason why leases have existed for more than a thousand years is that nothing workable has been found to replace it. Commonhold already exists as an alternative to leasehold. But it has never taken off.

  3. Politicians campaign in poetry, but govern in prose. Labour must not fall into the Tory trap of ‘promise big, deliver small’

  4. Previous comments make abolishing leasehold sound so difficult
    Why then has Scotland managed it as well as majority of other countries who do not have such a feudal system
    Just shows how much in the pockets of property and financial investors previous and present government are

    1. There is a cost to collecting ground rents with no benefit at all to Leaseholders. Maybe I’m oversimplifying but what is wrong with any government immediately adding to current legislation to reduce every ground rent to a peppercorn rent and thus removing the collection cost? There will no doubt be squeals from big landowners…… Management companies can be replaced – if you can find a well run one- but Tenant apathy contributes to some extent – this from experience. Whatever the outcome of legislation someone has to take responsibility for maintaining a building and unfortunately the new Building Safety Act, fire safety has no doubt got in the way of Leasehold Reform.

  5. You obviously don’t live in a block of flats so your opinion isn’t warranted. Making lease extensions is a tiny part of the problem.

  6. I live in a council flat and have bought the leasehold which runs for 123 years.
    I have paid the mortgage off and now I’m wondering what will happen if the Gov abolish leaseholds?
    Will it automatically convert to a freehold as I have paid the mortgage or not?

  7. The conservative proposed lease reforms has done nothing
    For lease flat owners .
    Labour say they will go much further in fact within 100 days
    If they get elected.
    What we need is the lease reforms they have in Scotland.

  8. Urgent regulation of freeholders needed in interim to enforce quality accommodation and give leaseholders some powers against at best disinterested and at worst negligent and criminal freeholders.
    Extend property ombudsman to include freeholders.

  9. Leasehold has been totally banned in Scotland, so it shows it can be done with the government’s support behind it! Why is it that Westminster is so lazy resolving problems that voters what sorting but are lightning quick to achieve any legislation that they want that suits them. I am fed up with it. I remember an old song by Harry Belafonte called “There’s a hole in my bucket” in which a man is asked to get water by his wife and just keeps giving her a list of excuses why he is unable to. Nothing is achievable if all your time and effort is used to find excuses/reasons why it can’t be done!

  10. I agree with an earlier comment that the government are in the pockets of freeholders and big money men otherwise they would have abolished leasehold. Too many of our politicians have a financial investment of sorts, in leasehold. If Labour plan to abolish it, and Scotland proved that its possible, I know where my vote will be when the time comes around. Enough is enough

  11. If Labour win the election with a huge majority they must abolish feudal leaseholds for good.
    It will be a huge vote winner. The rich and powerful have made their cash. Time must be up.

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