The system by which leaseholders take over the management of their flats is too slow, too restrictive and too expensive, according to the Law Commission.
“The right to manage process is not working at the moment and change is needed,” says Stephen Lewis, Commissioner for commercial and common law at the Law Commission.
The commission is therefore consulting on proposals, which would speed up the process and extend it to houses as well as flats.
“This is a very practical project and we’ve been focused on proposals that make sure the right to manage is more user-friendly, particularly for leaseholders,” said Mr Lewis.
People who own flats with long leases can acquire the right to manage, which means they take over responsibility for services such as repairs, maintenance and insurance from their landlord. The proposed changes would make this process easier for leaseholders in England and Wales.
Currently, acquiring the right to manage is expensive for leaseholders as they are must meet most of their landlord’s costs. The technical nature of the process also means that small errors can cause significant delays.
In addition, the right to manage doesn’t apply to leasehold houses, multiple buildings on an estate or blocks where more than a quarter is non-residential space. The new proposals would extend the criteria so that these leasehold properties could also qualify.
The commission wants to introduce deadlines and simplify the number of notices that leaseholders need to serve to speed up the process. It also suggests having a tribunal, with exclusive jurisdiction over disputes, so that they can be resolved quickly, and for minor procedural mistakes to be waived.
Read more about this story on the Property Wire website.