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Housing: Residential Leases

Volume 702: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they plan to review the law concerning forfeiture provisions in residential leases. [HL4024]

The Law Commission has considered a range of ways in which a court may be able to deal with matters where default of a lease occurs, including the provision of notices and the power to order the sale of a forfeited property and for the proceeds of a sale to be distributed in a fairer manner.

It published its report in October 2006, setting out its views and how the law could be reformed, and work is continuing to establish the way forward.

Through the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 we have already improved the protection available to long leaseholders. This currently requires notices to be served; for any alleged breach to be determined by a court or leasehold valuation tribunal before any forfeiture action can be taken; and no forfeiture for amounts of less than £350 unless outstanding for more than three years.

We continue to be involved with the work being carried out by the Law Commission and will consider, in light of this work, whether any further changes are necessary to the law of forfeiture as it applies to residential leaseholders.