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England: New Leasehold Extension Rights

England: New Leasehold Extension Rights

On 7th January 2021, the Housing Secretary announced the extension of lease by a maximum term of 990 years at zero ground rent. As per current regulation, leaseholders are permitted to extend their lease once every 50 years with zero ground rent. This is compared with leaseholders of flats that are allowed to extend their lease as often as they wish a zero peppercorn ground rent for 90 years. The effect of the change shall reflect in the ability of both house and flat leaseholders to extend their lease for a standard period of 990 years with zero ground rent. 

The decision to extend leaseholders' rights is a transformative step by the law commission and one of the most significant English property laws reforms in 40 years. Typically, homeowners are required to pay annual ground rent to the freeholder of property. The government shall introduce the following in furtherance of the interest of leaseholders;

  1. The ground rent payable by the leaseholder shall be restricted when the leaseholder chooses to extend the lease or become a freeholder 
  2. An online calculator shall be introduced to simplify calculating the cost to buy their freehold or extend their lease. This would curb quoting unreasonable and inflated prices by freeholders;
  3. Measures to protect the elderly by making reforms applicable to retirement leasehold properties 
  4. The government shall also set up a common-hold council 
  5. The government has also proposed to abolish costs like marriage value to make it easier to calculate rates in a fairer, cheaper and more transparent manner. 






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