Leasehold reform came under debate in the House of Commons on 26 June. The government came under attack not just from Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs, but also from their own backbenchers. The debate was initiated by Conservative Jacqui Lait, who introduced a private member’s bill to provide additional rights for leaseholders facing large demands for major works.
Labour MP Barry Gardiner made the point that the consultation procedures over major works actually give leaseholders few rights over how their money is spent: “To have a right but no means of enforcing that right is to have no right at all. ” The same could be said of all the so-called rights that leaseholders have – from the right to see accounting documents and insurance policies, through to the right not to be harassed by landlords.
Jacqui Lait further made the point : “ Many leaseholders experience a total disregard for any of the rights that she is reading out; she must bear in mind what she is reading out is not what happens to leaseholders. ” CARL argue that the government’s negative reaction to any sensible attempts to protect leaseholders will count heavily against it in the next general election, since most of the country’s three million leaseholders live in marginal constituencies in London, along the south coast, and in the north-west.