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Right to Enfranchise Provisions

Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 12 May 2009

I have today published a consultation paper that proposes the non-implementation and repeal of the Right to Enfranchise (RTE) provisions in the 2002 Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act (the 2002 Act).

The 2002 Act sought through the RTE provisions to prevent what was at that time acknowledged to be a fairly limited problem: qualifying leaseholders being deliberately excluded when fellow leaseholders exercised statutory rights to purchase the freehold of the building containing their flats (called collective enfranchisement). However, it has become clear that implementation of the provisions would introduce a considerable amount of additional burdens, complexity and cost into the process.

The Government’s view is that this would be to the overall detriment of leaseholders in general who are benefiting from the changes that have been made by the 2002 Act and earlier legislation to remove unreasonable barriers to enfranchisement.

Leaseholders will in due course also benefit from the introduction of regulations on accounting for leaseholders monies which will complete the programme of reform introduced under the 2002 Act.

The consultation runs until 3 August 2009 and the Government would welcome responses to their proposals up until that date. Copies of the paper, “A consultation paper on the right to enfranchise (RTE) provisions”, have been placed in the Library of the House.