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January 2021

Potential for Further Restrictions to Stop Home Move

The CA has spoken to the Ministry about the press speculation today on the housing market being closed temporarily.

The Ministry have confirmed that there is no plan to tighten restrictions at this stage, so long as the safe moving guidance is adhered to. The Ministry have advised they are confident that there is little or no evidence of increased transmission through house moving as the majority of the process can be completed online.

The speculation appears in the below article and is based on the assumption of a full and complete lockdown being imposed similar to March last year.

https://www.todaysconveyancer.co.uk/main-news/tighter-restrictions-stop-moves/

The feedback from ministers this morning is that further research has been conducted in relation to transmission causes since the original lockdown, which is why there can be more industries open this time.

We will continue to keep you updated on any developments.

Government Reforms Make It Easier And Cheaper For Leaseholders To Buy Their Homes

Over the years the CA has lobbied and worked with the Law Commission, MHCLG and the other conveyancing trade and representative bodies to create solutions to leasehold.

Last year the Law Commission published reports on leasehold enfranchisement, Commonhold, and Right to Manage. Today the Government has announced new improvements to the leashed regime:  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-reforms-make-it-easier-and-cheaper-for-leaseholders-to-buy-their-homes

This announcement is part of the Government’s response to these reports on how to make purchasing the freehold of a property or extending a lease easier, simpler and cheaper for leaseholders and how to pave the way for the widespread take-up of Commonhold.

Under the current system, too many leaseholders find the process for extending their lease or buying their freehold too complex, lacking transparency and prohibitively expensive. This package seeks to address this, by taking account of the legitimate rights of freeholders but addressing historic imbalance to ensure fairness for leaseholders.  We will continue to ensure we meet this objective as we bring forward reforms.

The announcement also includes removing a previously announced exemption for retirement properties. Restricting ground rents to zero is a basic matter of fairness, and removing this exemption will ensure that those who live in retirement housing benefit from the same reform as other leaseholders.

The CA will continue to lobby for a timetable for the legislation required to deliver all these and the scores of other improvements announced, but not yet legislated, over the last 5 years as a result of lobbying on behalf of you and leaseholders.

We will keep you posted but thank you to all those who took the time to submit your version of our consultation responses to the Law Commission – it has made a difference.

Property Market Remains Open

Following on from the Government’s announcement of a National Lockdown in England last night, we can confirm the property market still remains OPEN!

Government guidance has advised that:

“You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary. Estate and letting agents and removal firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.”

More information on the latest Government Guidance in England can be found below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

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