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Shared Ownership

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN HL11001, tabled on 1 December 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the BBC Panorama investigation into (1) shared ownership schemes, and (2) abuses of the leasehold system.

Answered on

14 December 2020

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service

We have confirmed the new model for Shared Ownership which will be more consumer friendly, easier to access and fairer, leading to a better experience for a future generation of shared owners. We have lowered the minimum share to 10%, introduced manageable 1% staircasing and introduced a 10 year period during which the landlord will support the shared owner with the cost of repairs.

We are taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market. This includes measures to ban the sale of new leasehold houses, restrict ground rents to zero for future leases, give freehold homeowners equivalent rights to challenge unfair charges, and close loopholes to prevent unfair evictions.

We are also working with the Law Commission to make extending a lease easier, quicker and cheaper – and to reinvigorate Commonhold to provide consumers with a choice of tenure and the Right to Manage to help empower those that wish to, to take on management responsibilities for their properties.

In January this year the Law Commission published their first of four reports, on the valuation aspects of enfranchisement, and on 21 July the Law Commission published a further three reports on the remaining aspects of enfranchisement as well as Commonhold and Right to Manage. Details can be found (attached)here: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/residential-leasehold-and-commonhold/. We will be publishing further details of how Government will take forward reform across these key policy issues as soon as possible.