The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,
Declares that the terms and conditions associated with the lease extensions of leasehold property on the Chase Park Estate, Sherburn village, Durham, are unfair; and further that the current terms and conditions make it difficult to afford a lease extension and to sell or purchase the respective leasehold properties.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to call on the current administrators of the leases on the Chase Park Estate to provide fair evaluation for the cost of lease extension, and to provide fair ground rent terms after the extension of a lease.
—[Presented by Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods , Official Report, 18 July 2018; Vol. 645, c. 520.]
Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Mrs Heather Wheeler):
On 21 December 2017, the Government published their official response to the consultation “Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market”
The response sets out how the Government want to make it easier for existing leaseholders to be able to exercise their right to buy their freehold, or extend their lease, faster, fairer and cheaper, and for this right to be available as soon as possible.
The Government are working with the Law Commission to achieve this. They will consult on introducing a prescribed formula that provides fair compensation to the landlord, while also helping leaseholders avoid incurring additional court costs. They will also consider introducing a Right of First Refusal for house lessees.
On 19 July 2018, the Law Commission published a summary paper on proposed solutions for leasehold houses. It sets out options for reducing premiums paid for enfranchisement and proposes solutions to simplify the enfranchisement process. Details can be found at: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/leasehold-enfranchisement/.
A detailed consultation on a new enfranchisement regime in respect of leasehold houses and flats will be published in Autumn 2018. The final report will follow in 2019.
Additionally, the Law Commission’s 13th Programme of Law Reform was published on 14 December 2017, and includes a project on Unfair Terms in Leasehold. The Law Commission has made an announcement on its work with the Department at: https://www.lawcom .gov.uk/project/residential-leasehold-and-commonhold/.
For existing leaseholders, some developers are now offering the option to vary leases so that ground rents increase in line with inflation rather than doubling. This action is welcome, but we believe these measures must go further and faster. The Government want to see this support extended to all those with onerous ground rents, including second hand buyers, and for customers to be proactively contacted.