Minister reveals bid to re-launch commonhold with help from new ‘industry council’

The government has launched an initiative to re-ignite interest in Commonhold, the tenure introduced in 2002 by ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Minister reveals bid to re-launch commonhold with help from new ‘industry council’ | LandlordZONE.

Minister reveals bid to re-launch commonhold with help from new ‘industry council’

The government has launched an initiative to re-ignite interest in Commonhold, the tenure introduced in 2002 by the then Labour government but which has failed to catch on.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick (pictured) has announced a Commonhold Council which will be charged with reinvigorating interest in the tenure, which he says is a key plank in the government’s plans to give property owners ‘more control over their home and building’.

The announcement is one of the key recommendations into reforming property market made by The Law Commission last year.

Commonhold enables property owners, usually within apartment blocks, to take collective control of a building and take greater control of who manages it and the costs involved.

But the tenure has not taken off in the way many had hoped, largely because developers and freeholders find leasehold more lucrative via ground rents and other charges.

Also, commonhold doesn’t suit the many mixed-use developments that are being built these days and it hasn’t been supported by mortgage lenders.

To remedy this the Commonhold Council is to have representatives from many organisations within the property market.

This includes RICS, the British Property Federation, Building Societies Association, Federation of Private Residents’ Associations, , Home Builders Federation, Law Society, campaigning Leasehold Knowledge Partnership and 12 others.

Rather oddly, though, no representatives from the property management sector are on the council.

“We are taking forward the biggest reforms to English property law for 40 years – and the widespread introduction of commonhold builds on our work to provide more security for millions of existing leaseholders across England, putting an end to rip-off charges and creating a fairer system,” says Jenrick.

Simon Law (pictured), Chairperson of the Society of Licenced Conveyancers, says: “We have long campaigned for reform of leasehold legislation and a move to widespread adoption of Commonhold in its place.
“It is greatly encouraging that the Government is now taking this seriously.”




©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Minister reveals bid to re-launch commonhold with help from new ‘industry council’ | LandlordZONE.

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LATEST: Landlords waiting 37 weeks longer to evict tenants, official figures show

Landlord repossessions took an average of nearly 58 weeks in the first quarter of the year, up ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - LATEST: Landlords waiting 37 weeks longer to evict tenants, official figures show | LandlordZONE.

LATEST: Landlords waiting 37 weeks longer to evict tenants, official figures show

Landlord repossessions took an average of nearly 58 weeks in the first quarter of the year, up from 21 weeks during the same period in 2020.

The Ministry of Justice’s mortgage and landlord possession statistics report for January to March has revealed the true impact of the evictions ban, showing how landlord possession claims (6,377), orders for possession (5,427), warrants (2,480) and repossessions (262) by county court bailiffs have dropped by 74%, 72%, 80% and 96% respectively.

While the government this week announced plans to wind down the ban, which will see bailiffs restart their work on 1st June, it’s expected that it could take many months before the courts return to normal.

According to a recent report by LSE London, the courts are set to buckle under the pressure once the eviction ban ends with delays unlikely to reduce.

A fall in volumes was seen across the country but applications were focused in London, where 1,965 landlord claims and 1,152 landlord orders were made at the capital’s courts during January to March, accounting for 31% and 21% of all claims and orders respectively.

Local variations

Landlord repossessions were highest in Exeter with 22 per 100,000 households, but were mainly concentrated in the South East, followed by London, the West Midlands and the South West.

made up the largest proportion of landlord claims (44% or 2,833), in contrast to the same quarter in 2020, when they made up 24% of all claims.

The report says timeliness is volatile for landlord orders, warrants and repossessions due to low volumes being processed. But it adds:

“This should be taken in the context of extremely small volumes and the invariable additional time needed where normal courts procedures could not be followed.”

However, Landlord Action founder Paul Shamplina tells LandlordZONE that the courts were already struggling prior to Covid.

He believes cases will ramp up and predicts there will be 150,000 possession claims made in 2022.

Shamplina adds: “It’s been horrendous for those landlords who have accumulated rent arrears – we’ve never seen so many cases where landlords are owed more than a year’s rent with very little likelihood of getting it back.”

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©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - LATEST: Landlords waiting 37 weeks longer to evict tenants, official figures show | LandlordZONE.

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