All Agent's Awards

Cross Keys Estate Agents All Agents Award

Please click HERE for more details of our most recent awards.

Back to top
  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - A Change is Coming (In Law)

    A Change is Coming (In Law)

Property Portal Logos
  • Cross Keys Estates - Residential Sales and Lettings - A Change is Coming (In Law)
    A Change is Coming (In Law)

A Change is Coming (In Law)

May 2022

By Jack Merriott-McMillan-Duncan, Managing Director

Back to Key Notes

Hi Folks, here we are, another month and another blog and this time, on a different topic completely, the law!

Buying and selling a property can be confusing to say the least and that is before you even get to the conveyancing part.

On 21 December 2017 the Government announced plans to tackle the growing problem of newly built houses sold as leasehold rather than freehold, and to limit ground rents on new lease agreements. Leasehold reform was included in the Law Commission’s Programme of Law Reform with the aim of finding ways to make buying a freehold or extending a lease “easier, faster, fairer and cheaper.”

In The Queen’s Speech 2022 “The Government will be taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to improve fairness and transparency in the leasehold market. The Law Commission’s work on leasehold reform is now complete and will become law from 31st May 2022.

There are around 4.6 million leasehold homes in England, according to estimates from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Long leaseholders buy the right to live in their homes for the term of the lease. Around 68% of these are flats, while 32% are houses. Most flats in the private sector are leasehold (an estimated 93% of owner-occupied flats and 73% of private-rented flats). Leasehold houses are uncommon across England, at around 8% of the stock. There’s evidence indicating that developers had started to sell new-build houses on long lease agreements as this can represent a lucrative future income stream.

Leaseholders report a range of problems, including: high service charges and a lack of transparency over what they are being charged for; freeholders who block attempts by leaseholders to exercise the Right to Manage; excessive administration charges and charges for applications to extend lease agreements or enfranchise; and a lack of knowledge over their rights and obligations.

From the end of May, estate agents and other property businesses must include length of lease, amount of service charge and ground rent and whether the property is in a shared ownership scheme when marketing properties. This information is absolutely essential to buyers finding out from the start whether a property is worth pursuing or not (e.g., is the lease so short they won’t be able to get a mortgage).

What does this information include? Perhaps most significant is that details of tenure of the property (how you own a property) must be disclosed, this includes the following categories:

  1. leasehold
  2. freehold
  3. commonhold

Currently most reputable estate agents and property professionals are in the midst of obtaining the relevant information required to comply with this new legislation, however it is not an easy task as some of the property owners are not even aware of what their exact lease terms mean to them. There are some developments in our area that are indeed freehold but also have a leasehold element, including the cost of maintaining communal outdoor areas or the cost of electric and maintenance of gates in gated communities etc: –

what will have to be disclosed when selling a leasehold property are the current ground rent and service charge together with their respective review periods, along with the length of the lease and whether it is a shared ownership leasehold property.

The story here at Cross Keys Estates is no different. We are speaking to vendors and their solicitors to obtain this newly legally required information. The best way is to get a physical copy of the lease, that way we can quote the lease details directly. If a copy of the lease is not immediately available, then maybe either talk to the solicitor that is either doing or committed to doing the conveyancing on the property. Unfortunately, we cannot just take the vendors word for this information anymore as it forms an integral part of the Government’s reform for the housing market.

If you would like a personal chat with me to see if now is the right time for you to sell or rent out your property, please feel free to either give me a call on 01752 500099 or 01752 500018 or pop in to our Stoke office where I or one of my experienced property consultants will be only too happy to see if we can help.

Cross Keys Estate Agents Blog Header

Back to Key Notes

Properties of the Week

Cross Keys Estate Agents Sales Property of the Week 1

Sales Property 1

Lake View Drive, Holly Park

£290,000 to £310,000 Guide Price

2 4 2

Click to view details

Cross Keys Estate Agents Sales Property of the Week 2

Sales Property 2

Chestnut Road, Peverell

£360,000 to £380,000 Guide Price

2 3 1

Click to view details

Cross Keys Estate Agents Lettings Property of the Week

Lettings Property

Century Quay, The Barbican

£1,500 pcm

1 3 2

Click to view details

Rightmove Property Website Logo
PrimeLocation Property Website Logo
Zoopla Property Website Logo

Key Notes Blog

Are you thinking about an apprenticeship?

Asha George shares her journey of transitioning from the corporate sector to an apprenticeship with an Independent Local Estate Agent. She reveals how this change has not only met but exceeded her expectations, bringing a sense of relief and...


A Day in the Life of a Lettings Maintenance Co-ordinator!

I have headed up Cross Keys Lettings Maintenance department since 2020 and this has proved to be challenging but...


Choosing the right Solicitor

How to choose the right solicitor for you and your transaction – When selling or purchasing a property. Summary:...


From Yorkshire to Plymouth

My husband and I relocated south to Plymouth from Yorkshire in April 2022 after a long time spent deliberating,...


Condensation – the enemy within

It is well documented that we, as a nation, have had some particularly challenging times in the last few...

National Association of Estate Agents Website Logo
Association of Residential Letting Agents Website Logo
National Federation Of Property Professionals Website Logo
The Property Ombudsman Website Logo