Amendment 41

Part of Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill - Committee (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords am 6:30 pm ar 24 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Baroness Scott of Bybrook Baroness Scott of Bybrook Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 6:30, 24 Ebrill 2024

I reiterate that this is why we would like the Secretary of State to be involved because it is complex and there needs to be a balance. I will come back to the noble Lord with any further comments, but this is why we would prefer the Secretary of State to have this role, to make sure that we are balancing the market at the time with leaseholders’ representation.

I turn to Amendment 42 from the noble Baroness, Lady Taylor, which would require the Secretary of State, when prescribing the deferment rate used in the enfranchisement valuation calculations, to set this at a level that would encourage

“leaseholders to acquire their freehold at the lowest possible cost”.

I assure the noble Baroness and the Committee that the Government are committed to making enfranchisement cheaper and easier and that these reforms will achieve that aim.

I understand how vital setting rates is for enfranchisement premiums. This very proposal was discussed in the other place, and I reiterate the importance of not constraining the Secretary of State via the Bill when making such important decisions. We have been clear that we will set the rates at the market value and recognise that many different elements need to be considered when setting them, as I have just reflected to my noble friend. We continue to have conversations with all relevant stakeholders. As I said, I welcome members of the Committee sharing their views on this matter so that the Government can take them into consideration when making a final decision. For these reasons, I ask my noble friend—