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The purpose of those rights is to enable tenants to continue occupation of their residential property at a fair price and on fair terms. It also allows leaseholders to maintain capital value and the ability to mortgage.
The Leasehold Reform Act 1967 (LRA 1967) is nearing its 50th birthday and the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (LRHUDA 1993) is old enough to have left university and qualified as a lawyer. Like all grown-up children,
they can be both a blessing and a curse.
From a social point of view, the blessing has been that enfranchisement has undoubtedly extended the ‘property owning democracy’ dreamt of by successive governments. Many tens of thousands of house owners have acquired their freeholds,
lessees of flats have been able to acquire secure long lease terms and groups of lessees have been able to acquire the freeholds of blocks of flats.
The curse is that in many cases, the rules have been exploited by commercial and semi-commercial developers seeking to acquire properties—often at a perceived discount to the market price. Moreover, newly enfranchised freeholders of blocks
of flats may not always make good landlords.
The main challenges are that the law is complex, frequently inaccessible, and the valuation principles opaque. When combined with high property values, these considerations mean that leasehold enfranchisement has generated significantly more work
for the higher courts and tribunals than almost any other area of property litigation.
There is no room for anything other than the seven House of Lords and Supreme Court cases:
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