The Library has published two briefing papers of relevance to this debate:

New-build housing: construction defects – issues and solutions (England)

This paper considers the existing building control regime and customers’ means of redress when faced with defects in newly built housing. It summarises the findings of the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s 2016 inquiry and explains the Government and industry response, including the Government’s recent consultation on Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market.

Leasehold and commonhold reform

This paper considers trends in leasehold ownership and ongoing problems associated with the sector. The paper outlines leaseholders’ rights and recent Government proposals to introduce further reform, including to:

  • legislate to prohibit the creation of new residential long leases on new build houses, other than in exceptional circumstances;
  • restrict ground rents in newly established leases of houses and flats to a peppercorn value;
  • address loopholes to improve transparency and fairness for leaseholders and freeholders; and
  • work with the Law Commission to support existing leaseholders. This will include making buying a freehold or extending a lease “easier, faster, fairer and cheaper.”

The paper also discusses commonhold tenure, introduced in 2002 as an alternative to leasehold, which has so far failed to take-off.

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