Leasehold reforms pass in wash-up & Renters Reform washed away

Parliament has been dissolved prior to the upcoming general election on 4 July 2024. As part of the 'wash-up' process for legislation, the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act became law, being effectively waved through 'on the nod'. The Renters (Reform) Bill did not however become law. This therefore means that s21 Housing Act 1988 ('s21') remains on the statute book, and landlords may continue to rely on the s21 route to gaining possession of residential property.

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act effectively outlaws the sale of new leasehold houses, as well as making standard a period of 990 years for lease renewals (for both houses and flats). Leaseholders will no longer need to have owned their leasehold property for at least 2 years before they may extend their lease term or buy their freehold.

Whether there is an appetite on the part of the next Government to abolish s21 remains to be seen. So far, none of the major parties have made policy announcements to this effect; neither of the major parties' manifestos have yet been published, at the time of writing. We will provide an update in due course, once the position becomes clearer - which will likely only be after the general election has been held.

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