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The State Opening of Parliament 

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Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill completes passage through Parliament

8 February 2022

A row of houses

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill returned to the Lords for consideration of Commons amendments in ‘ping pong’, on Monday 7 February.

The bill was granted Royal Assent on Tuesday 8 February 2022 and is now an Act of Parliament (law). 

The purpose of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill is to set future ground rents to zero for new leases to make leasehold ownership fairer.

Consideration of amendments

The bill was considered by the House of Lords between 24 May and 20 July 2021, before passing to the House of Commons.

Members of the Lords later considered Commons changes (amendments) to the bill. House of Commons changes were agreed to and members also discussed progress of the bill through the Lords.

As both Houses have agreed on the text of the bill, it now awaits the final stage of Royal Assent. It will then become an Act of Parliament (law).

Royal Assent is scheduled for 8 February.

How to follow

Explore further information

Find out more in the House of Lords Library Leashold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill briefing.

What's happened so far?

Third reading: Tuesday 14 September

Third reading is the chance for members to ‘tidy up' a bill, making any small changes to ensure it is effective as law.

No changes to the wording of the bill were put forward ahead of third reading. Members discussed the progress of the bill through the House at the conclusion of Lords stages and Lords amendments, which would ensure the bill works in the best possible way for the benefit of leaseholders.

Catch up on  Parliament TV  or read a transcript in Lords Hansard

Report stage: Tuesday 20 July

Proposed changes

Members put forward changes (PDF) to consider at report stageMembers speaking discussed subjects from the amendment list and voted on three changes to the bill.

Tenants

The first was on a change (amendment 9) to require landlords to let tenants know of upcoming changes to ground rents to try and prevent lease extensions before the changes in the bill are implemented.

Members voted 243 in favour and 238 against, so the change was made.

Removing ground rent

The second vote was on a change (amendment 26) which aims to ensure that the government introduces further legislation to remove ground rent for all leaseholders, whereas the Act currently only applies to newly established leases.

Members voted 219 in favour and 243 against, so the change was not made.

Financial impact

The final vote was on a change (amendment 27) to require a review of the financial impact of the Act and a recommendation as to whether a further extension of the ground rents ban could benefit existing leaseholders, especially those facing bills for fire remediation work.

Members voted 245 in favour and 256 against, so the change was not made.

Catch up on Parliament TV or read a transcript in Lords Hansard.

Committee stage day two: Monday 14 June

Members put forward changes (PDF) (amendments) to consider at committee stage.

Members speaking discussed changes on a wide rage of subjects. For example financial penalties and banning orders for landlords who breach provisions in the Act, and a financial impact assesment of the Act to review whether a further extension of the ground rents ban could benefit existing leaseholders.

Find out about all the issues members discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read a transcipt in Lords Hansard.

Committee stage day one: Wednesday 9 June

Members put forward changes (PDF) (amendments) to consider.

Members speaking discussed particular amendments on a wide range of subjects, including:

  • provisions for retirement homes
  • the financial impact of this Act for leaseholders
  • extensions to leasehold contracts.

Existing leaseholders

Members also rasied concern about a lack of help in the bill for existing leaseholders (its measures provide for future leaseholders) or anyone who buys a lease with a ground rent before the bill's commencement date.

They questioned (with amendments) why the bill does not deliver government policy to enable leaseholders to buy out the ground rent without the need to extend the lease.

Find out about all the issues discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read the House of Lords Hansard transcript of the debate.

Second reading: Monday 24 May

Members of the House of Lords discussed the key areas of the bill in the second reading debate. 

Members expressed concern regarding ground rents and unreasonable service charges existing leaseholders are required to pay.

Catch up on Parliament TV or read a transcript of the debate in House of Lords Hansard.

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