The Law Commission's Consultation for Social Landlords

Article

08 March, 2019

Partners Lachlan McLean and Lucie Cocker of Forbes Solicitors were delighted to host the Law Commission's consultation event for Social Landlords on leasehold home ownership and reinvigorating commonhold at our Manchester offices. The Law Commission put forward proposals for reform to Right to Manage and commonhold leading to interesting discussion and views.

On Right to Manage, the Law Commission set out proposals to:-

  1. Relax the qualification criteria for Right to Manage to make it easier to acquire management, including over multiple buildings on an estate.
  2. Streamline the process of acquiring Right to Manage and limit the RTM company's exposure to costs in the event of a dispute.
  3. Provide greater support to Right to Manage Companies and enhanced rights to information on acquisition.

On Commonhold Reform, the Law Commission discussed their concerns over the shortcomings of leasehold ownership and their role in reinvigorating commonhold as a viable alternative to leasehold. Despite the shortcomings in leasehold tenure, there have been fewer than 20 commonhold schemes since CLRA 2002 was enacted. The Law Commission has set out the benefits that commonhold could make in Social Housing, particularly in the simplification of management of shared ownership properties.

We were able to host many of our existing social housing clients and several new faces at the event. There was a fascinating debate about the vital role of social landlords and the particular challenges facing the sector, together with lots of new ideas about how Registered Providers and Local Housing Authorities could work with leaseholders to get the best results. We were delighted to see so many well-informed contributions from delegates, which will have provided the Law Commission with vital evidence to consider in the reviews.

Matthew Jolley of the Law Commission commented, "We are grateful to Forbes for hosting such a constructive event and thank all those who contributed to the discussion. We rely heavily on the practical experience of consultees and we want to hear from as many Registered Providers as possible. Our proposals are provisional at this stage and our final recommendations to Government often change in light of the consultation responses we receive."

We would urge any interested parties to put forward their views to the Law Commission. The Law Commission's consultation on commonhold reform is open until 10 March 2019, the consultation on Leasehold reform and the Right to Manage is open until 30 April 2019.

www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/commonhold/

www.lawcom.gov.uk/projects/right-to-manage/

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