Partner, Liz Moger, comments that the Law Commission is asking flat owners, housebuilders, mortgage lenders and lawyers to help shape a law which could help people own their flats outright.
The independent legal body wants views on a little-known and little used home ownership status called commonhold, which provides an alternative to residential leasehold.
Commonhold was introduced in 2002 as a new way to own property. It allows a person to own a freehold ‘unit’ – like a flat within a building – and at the same time be a member of the company which manages the shared areas and buildings.
Crucially, unlike leasehold, owners own their ‘unit’ outright, so their ownership won’t run out at a point in the future and they won’t have a landlord. Despite this advantage fewer than 20 commonhold developments have been created since the law came into force in 2004.
As a result, the Law Commission has launched a call for evidence to find out what’s stopping commonhold from taking off.
Liz comments “It’s clear leasehold law is a problem with some managing agents charging over the odds for the upkeep of shared areas, and the process of extending a lease costly and time consuming. Commonhold provides an alternative – giving unlimited ownership of a property and a stake in how the rest of the building or shared area is managed”.
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If you would like assistance on a conveyancing or other property related matter, call Liz Moger on 023 9282 0747 for a free initial chat.