Commonhold was introduced under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, and enables the freehold ownership of flats.

Despite this, since it’s introduction only a handful of commonholds have been created.

Work of the Law Commission

As part of their 13th programme of law reform, the Law Commission were tasked with recommending reforms to reinvigorate commonhold so that it offers a workable alternative to leasehold.

Their final report was published on 21 July 2020. It made numerous recommendations that seek to make commonhold not only a workable, but a preferred form of homeownership to residential leasehold.

Their recommendations include measures designed to:

  • make it easier for leaseholders to convert to commonhold and gain greater control over their properties;
  • enable commonhold to be used for larger, mixed-use developments which accommodate not only residential properties but also shops, restaurants and leisure facilities;
  • allow shared ownership leases to be included within commonhold;
  • give owners a greater say in how the costs of running their commonhold are met and ensure they have sufficient funds for future repairs and emergency works;
  • make it easier to take action against those who fail to pay their share of the commonhold’s costs;
  • ensure commonholds are well maintained and insured, with new powers to replace directors who are not complying with the commonhold’s rules;
  • provide owners with flexibility to change the commonhold’s rules while improving the protections available to those affected by the change; and
  • improve mortgage lenders’ confidence in commonhold to increase the choice of financing available for home buyers.

Our Cassandra Zanelli was invited by the Law Commission to sit as an expert panel member.

Creation or conversion?

A commonhold can either be created from scratch, or by converting an existing building.

We’re on hand to assist with:

  • registration without unit holders
  • registration with unit holders

Dispute resolution

The Commonhold Community Statement (often shortened to CCS) sets out how disputes should be dealt with.

We’re on hand to assist and advise the commonhold association where:

  • the commonhold association is facing action from a unit holder
  • the commonhold association is taking action against a unit holder
  • a unit holder is taking action against another unit holder (where notice is also served on the commonhold association).