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Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill Timetable: What happens when?

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The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill was published on 27 November 2023, had its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 11 December 2023 and the Committee Stage concluded on 30 January 2024. The next stage is the Report Stage and Third Reading, which will take place on 27 February, after which it will go to the House of Lords.

Michael Gove told the BBC: “I’m absolutely confident this bill will be on the statute book by the time of a general election. It has widespread support in the House of Commons and the House of Lords”. This post looks at whether this timetable for leasehold reform to become law by the general election is realistic.

Bookmark this page for future news, as I keep it regularly updated.

>> Related Post: Practical guide to the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill

Last updated: 8 February 2024

What’s happening with the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill?

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities isn’t wasting any time with this Bill. The Second Reading took place on 11 December 2023, a mere 3 weeks after its introduction. This contrasts the 5 month delay between the introduction of the bill to the House of Commons and its Second Reading of the Renters Reform Bill.

The Committee Stage concluded on 30 January 2024 and the Report Stage will take place on 27 February.

What Conservatives said about Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill in 2019 Election Manifesto

This is the wording from the Conservative’s 2019 election manifesto about leasehold reform. The promises are fairly modest in that there is no reference to abolishing leasehold for flats. The ban on the sale of new leasehold homes is not in the Bill as introduced, but it is expected to be introduced by government amendment.

“We will continue with our reforms to leasehold including implementing our ban on the sale of new leasehold homes, restricting ground rents to a peppercorn, and providing necessary mechanisms of redress for tenants.”

Has the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill been passed yet?

No, the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill has not yet become law. It’s now at the very first stages of its journey through both houses of parliament, and there’s still a long way to go. The earliest date it may be passed into law is probably the summer of 2024. The Secretary of State will decide the actual date of implementation by regulation.

When will leasehold reform happen in 2024?

The next stage in leasehold reform will take place when the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill receives Royal Assent, likely to be in mid-2024 at the earliest, assuming a general election isn’t called before then. The Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 27 November 2023, and is due to complete its passage through the House of Commons in February, before moving to the House of Lords in March.

What’s happened to the replacement of leasehold with commonhold?

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill doesn’t include provisions to replace leasehold with commonhold for flats, even though Michael Gove had referred to leasehold as “unfair” in an interview with the Sunday Times in January 2023, and “an outdated feudal system that needs to go”. The replacement of leasehold with commonhold was not in the Conservative Party 2019 manifesto and is seen as too complex to include in the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, which has little time to make it onto the statute book before the 2024 general election as it is.

Will the new Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill affect existing leases?

Yes, the Bill will affect both new and existing leases as it amends the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. Clause 38 also specifically says that each section of Part 3 of the Bill, which regulates leasehold, has effect in relation to a lease “whether the lease was entered into before or after the section comes into force”.

Timeline for the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill to become law

In the timeline below, I show the key milestones for the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill as it moves through parliament, and becomes law. With a fair wind, it is possible (just) for the Bill to receive Royal Assent before the general election, so long as there are none of the hold-ups that we’ve seen with the Renters Reform Bill, and the general election takes place in October 2024. The earlier the general election, the less likely the bill will become law in time.

I’ll keep updating this page to track its journey towards Royal Assent and tick off each completed stage. So far, the First and Second Readings in the House of Commons have been completed.

27 November 2023

The name of the Leasehold and Freedhold Reform Bill was read out in the House of Commons.

11 December 2023

Michael Gove speaking during the Second Reading debate of the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill

This was the first big step in the Bill’s journey through parliament when MPs debated the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill for the first time. It took place on 11 December 2023.

16 January to 30 January 2024

The Committee Stage started by hearing oral evidence from a wide selection of witnesses before moving through a line-by-line analysis of the original text and amendments tabled by the government and opposition parties.

It concluded on 30 January 2024.

27 February 2024

Houses of parliament

At the Report Stage, MPs will table, debate and, if needed, vote on amendments and new clauses to the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill. The Third Reading debate will normally immediately follow the Report Stage.

Spring – Summer 2024

House of lords photograph

The whole process will then start again the House of Lords.

Once the Commons and Lords have agreed on the final version, the Bill can receive Royal Assent.

Spring – Summer 2024?

Royal Assent shown by the Royal Insignia

Once the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, it becomes law when it receives Royal Assent and this has been signified to Parliament.

It will then become the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act 2024.

June or October 2024? (Before 28 January 2025)

Polling station sign

The next General Election needs to be held before 28 January 2025

Last updated: 8 February 2024

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