A new lease of life: making leasehold fit for the 21st century

Dropping the bomb report coverThomas Brooks and Chris Paterson
August 2012

In this report CentreForum argues that the current system of leasehold tenure in which leasehold managing agents can operate without any form of regulation is not fit for purpose. The report shows that problems with management are growing, with a significant rise in disputes over inflated service charges and the operations of connected companies. It goes on to recommend how the system can be improved to benefit leaseholders and freeholders alike.

The report argues that a light touch, independent regulator for leasehold managing agents is essential if Britain's 2.5 million leasehold properties are to be given sufficient protection.

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"Leaseholders need far greater protection. At present there is legal torture of vulnerable groups including elderly, frail people on limited incomes and often limited life expectancy. Regulation and reform are urgently required. Everyone committed to fair dealing will welcome CentreForum's proposals. Government and parliament must act."

- Sir Peter Bottomley, Conservative MP for Worthing West

"Reform of the leasehold system is well overdue. Leaseholders with private and public sector freeholders must be given a greater say in how their homes are managed. I support CentreForum's report, which offers innovative solutions to improve life for leaseholders."

- Rt Hon Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and MP for Southwark and Bermondsey

"There is a real sense of growing momentum and cross party consensus on this issue. It is now time to revisit leasehold reform. These proposals would cost the government nothing and would at a stroke transform the lives of millions of leaseholders."

Barry Gardiner, Labour MP for Brent North

"I have seen relationships between leaseholders and the owners of their freehold that work well. But all too often I am shown instances where the balance of power in those relationships is dangerously out of kilter, delivering hopelessly poor value to leaseholders. I welcome CentreForum's report, which seeks to address this imbalance in the leasehold system."

Mark Field, Conservative MP for Westminster and the City

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