Albion Financial Advice > Mortgages > Leasehold Reforms Become Law: A New Dawn for Homeowners

This change marks a significant milestone for homeowners across England and Wales as the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act has officially become law on 24th of May 2024. This landmark legislation, introduced by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, aims to revolutionise the rights and protections afforded to leaseholders and freeholders alike. Here’s a breakdown of what this means for homeowners.

Empowering Leaseholders

Easier and Cheaper Freehold Purchase

One of the most notable changes is making it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy their freehold. This shift means that leaseholders will have more control over their property and can secure long-term ownership without facing prohibitive costs.

Extended Lease Terms

The Act extends the standard lease extension term to an impressive 990 years for both houses and flats. Previously, lease extensions were capped at 50 years for houses and 90 years for flats. This extension significantly reduces the hassle and expense of future renewals, providing leaseholders with greater security.

Transparent Service Charges

Service charges have long been a source of frustration for leaseholders, often shrouded in complexity and opaqueness. The new law mandates that freeholders and managing agents present these charges in a standardised format. This move ensures that leaseholders can easily scrutinise and challenge any unreasonable fees.

Enhanced Management Rights

Leaseholders will now find it simpler and more affordable to take over the management of their buildings. The Act empowers them to appoint managing agents of their choice, fostering better management and maintenance of properties.

Reducing Enfranchisement Costs

Exercising enfranchisement rights will be less financially burdensome, as leaseholders will no longer be required to cover their freeholder’s legal costs when making a claim. This change removes a significant financial barrier and encourages more leaseholders to take control of their property.

Extended Redress Schemes

The government is expanding access to redress schemes, allowing leaseholders to challenge poor practices more effectively. Freeholders who directly manage their buildings must now belong to a redress scheme, providing leaseholders with a formal avenue to resolve disputes.

Protecting Freeholders

Equal Rights for Freeholders

Freehold homeowners on private and mixed tenure estates will now enjoy the same rights of redress as leaseholders. This includes transparency over estate charges and the ability to challenge unreasonable fees, ensuring fair treatment across the board.

Improved Access to Management Rights

The Act raises the limit for commercial floor space in buildings from 25% to 50%, enabling more leaseholders to access the Right to Manage or pursue collective enfranchisement. This change is particularly beneficial for buildings with mixed-use spaces, such as shops or offices.

Additional Benefits for Leaseholders

Legal Cost Reforms

Leaseholders will no longer face the presumption of paying their freeholders’ legal costs when challenging poor practices. This reform acts as a deterrent, encouraging leaseholders to address unfair service charges without the fear of incurring significant legal expenses.

Banning Excessive Insurance Commissions

The Act prohibits opaque and excessive buildings insurance commissions for freeholders and managing agents, replacing them with transparent and fair handling fees. This change ensures that leaseholders are not overcharged for essential insurance services.

Ending New Leasehold House Sales

In a significant shift, the sale of new leasehold houses will be banned, except in exceptional circumstances. This means that all new houses in England and Wales will be sold as freehold, providing buyers with greater ownership rights from the outset.

Removing Ownership Waiting Periods

The Act eliminates the requirement for a new leaseholder to have owned their house or flat for two years before they can extend their lease or buy their freehold. This immediate eligibility empowers new homeowners to secure their property’s future without unnecessary delays.


The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act represents a comprehensive overhaul of the property ownership landscape in England and Wales. By introducing these significant reforms, the government aims to provide homeowners with more rights, transparency, and control over their properties. As these changes take effect, homeowners can look forward to a fairer, more equitable system that better protects their interests and investments.



Book a FREE initial consultation

Leave a Reply