Lords examines Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill at third reading
15 September 2021
The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill completed its third reading, a chance for members to make sure the eventual law is effective, workable and without loopholes, on Tuesday 14 September.
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.
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.
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Find out more in the House of Lords Library Leashold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill briefing.
Following completion of third reading, the bill now passes to the Commons for consideration of Lords amendments.
What's happened so far?
Report stage: Tuesday 20 July
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.
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.
Committee stage day two: Monday 14 June
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.
Committee stage day one: Wednesday 9 June
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.
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.
Second reading: Monday 24 May
Members expressed concern regarding ground rents and unreasonable service charges existing leaseholders are required to pay.
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