As I read the below article in The Times this morning, the soundtrack playing in my head was Carly Simon, Coming Around Again. This old chestnut. I have already shown my age with my musical reference but I remember this the first time around. Back in 2001, fresh to London and in my "Property" seat (before we rebranded to Real Estate) I wrote a research memo for my superviser on the new way to own land, Commonhold title.
It clearly never really took off. Will it be different this time? If you read the Government press release, it looks like it might.
Reforms to leasehold are definitely coming. The establishment of a Commonhold Council and two-state implementation of the Law Commission's proposals suggest that commonhold will proceed more slowly.
One surprising development is that further measures will be introduced to protect the elderly following the ground rent reform and changes will now also apply to retirement leasehold properties (being property for the elderly that is purpose built).
Us lawyers will be busy reviewing the proposals and considering how this affects our clients so that we can feed into the consultation. For now, it's a 'watch this space', but probably not a 20 year wait this time...
The changes would make it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy the freehold of their property and take control of the costs by giving them the right to extend the lease to a maximum term of 990 years at zero ground rent.