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Commonhold – Law Commission Call for Evidence

As part of its 13th Programme of Law Reform, the Law Commission has begun a call for evidence on commonhold law.

Introduced in 2004, commonhold allows a person to own a freehold 'unit' (such as a flat in a block of flats) and also be a member of the company that manages the shared areas of a building.

Commonhold has a number of potential advantages over leasehold:

  • A commonhold involves outright ownership – leases can be expensive to renew when they expire;
  • Standard rules and regulations apply. This should make conveyancing simpler and reduce the cost;
  • Owners have a stake in the wider building and manage the shared areas together, rather than having a landlord.

Despite this, there are fewer than 20 commonhold developments, consisting of under 100 freehold units. The call for evidence aims to discover why commonhold is not more widely used. Law Commissioner Professor Nick Hopkins said, "We want to find out what's stopping people, and how the law could be improved to make commonhold more common."

In addition to the legal issues, the Law Commission is keen to hear about other steps that could be taken to make commonhold more attractive, which will be considered separately by the Government. A full consultation will then take place on the legal reforms needed to make commonhold succeed.

The call for evidence closes on 19 April.

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