Insights Commercial Property Law – Key Considerations (April 2024)


Our April 2024 summary of the latest developments in Property law and practice is as follows:

  • There is now a public register of Higher Risk Buildings. Under Section 78(2) BSA 2022, the Building Safety Regulator is obliged to publish such a register and it went live on 12 February 2024. The register can be searched by using a postcode online.
  • The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No.7 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2024 (SI 2024/104) bring into force on 6 April 2024 provisions of the BSA 2022 that amend the Building Act 1984 to make a switch from approved inspectors to registered building control approvers under the Building Regulations regime in England, with transitional provisions to deal with ongoing projects.

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill had its third reading in the House of Commons on 27 February 2024 and its first reading in the House of Lords on 28 February 2024. By way of a general overview, the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill intends to reform many aspects of residential leasehold and freehold ownership, including:

  • Introducing extensive regulation of estate management charges, so that protections similar to those under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 afforded to leaseholders (who are subject to service charges) are also extended to freehold owners affected by estate management charges.
  • Prohibiting the grant of long residential leases of houses.
  • Amending the law relating to rent charges to regulate the recovery of unpaid rent charges and to remove remedies under section 121 Law of Property Act 1925.
  • Providing an ability for leaseholders in houses and flats to obtain lease extensions of 990 years with adjustments to the price payable for a lease.
  • Removing the current two-year qualifying period that tenants need to satisfy before an enfranchisement or lease extension claim can be made.
  • Providing a right for leaseholders with existing ground rent leases to vary their leases so that the whole or part of the rent payable becomes a peppercorn rent.