The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
This factsheet is only intended to set out a summary of the Act. For more detailed information and specialist advice you can contact Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE), Maple House, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7BN, Tel: 0207 383 9800. LEASE provides free advice and guidance to leaseholders and landlords on all aspects of leasehold law. Their website is available at www.lease-advice.org.
The Act received the Royal Assent on 1st May 2002 and will be brought into force by commencement orders laid before Parliament by the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office. It is likely that this will occur on a gradual basis (see below). It is currently intended that it will be fully in force in December 2003, following the implementation of the Land Registration Act 2002 in October 2003.
Scope of the Act:
The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act has two main aims. The first is to create a new type of property ownership, the commonhold. It is intended that this would combine the security of freehold ownership with the management potential of positive covenants which could be made to apply to each owner of an interdependent property. The second is to reform residential leasehold law, giving leaseholders new rights and enhancing existing ones. This will help those leaseholders who are not able, or do not wish, to convert to commonhold.
The Act has important implications for landlords and property managers both directly (for firms involved in block management) and indirectly (for administration of issues such as service charges and lease renewals). This factsheet explains some of the significant improvements in leaseholder rights introduced by the Act.
The statutory references used in the text are as follows:-
- “the 1967 Act” – the Leasehold Reform Act 1967;
- “the 1987 Act” – the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987;
- “the 1993 Act” – the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993