Amendment 13

Part of Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill - Committee (1st Day) – in the House of Lords am 5:00 pm ar 22 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green 5:00, 22 Ebrill 2024

My Lords, I do not have an amendment in this group, but it is almost therapeutic when your Lordships’ House is asked to consider a rare Bill such as this, where, instead of the Government seeking to do something really quite nasty, they are merely failing to do the best possible thing that they could.

The amendments in this group reveal that the Government have failed to bring in any proposals to replace leasehold ownership of residential property with commonhold ownership. It is obvious that there is a political consensus—at least on this side of the Chamber and partly on the other side—that commonhold should be the main model of ownership for multi-unit residential properties. However, 20 years since commonhold was first introduced, and four years since the Law Commission published legislative proposals to enable more widespread adoption of commonhold, it looks as though this Government have chosen to leave this issue to the next Government to sort out. That might be the best thing—I do not know—but, quite honestly, this Government have had the option, even in this Bill, to do the right thing.

Housing is part of survival: it is a human right and you have to get it right. It is time to end the commodification of housing by international finance and to end the feudal model of land ownership, which facilitates developers extracting as much money as possible from home owners while providing little or no value in return. Forgive me, I should have declared an interest as a leaseholder.

I would like to ask the Minister some questions; others have probably asked these questions before, but I just want to be specific and get clear answers. When do the Government expect the Commonhold Council to complete its work on the implementation of commonhold for new housing supply? When do they expect the completion of the work on conversion to commonhold? Why is it taking so long?