As you may have seen, the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill was one of the few pieces of legislation to make it through Parliament last week, meaning that some of the reforms we have long needed have made it on to the statute book. In particular new laws will come into force to give longer default extensions of leases, lower costs to extend leases, better rights to see what your service charge is being spent on, no new leasehold houses (but I’m afraid leasehold flats are still permissible) and it should be it easier to take over the management of a block.

However, as you may realise from my previous communications on this subject, I do not think these reforms go anything like far enough. In particular, I am concerned that the Bill will not abolish the sale of new leasehold flats – something which I have been calling for locally, and the Labour party in Parliament  proposed during the passage of the Bill. This failure will mean that residents of Walthamstow will continue to be forced into leasehold flats for several years if they want to buy property in our area – even if Labour are successful in bringing forward further legislation on this in future.

It is also worth noting that concerted lobbying by the freehold industry has managed to kill proposals to effectively abolish ground rents. This are quasi-feudal charges which can and should be abolished in a modern society. Even suggestions that these be capped were dropped, meaning leaseholders may still end up paying thousands of pounds to remain in a property they own. I’m also disappointed our own proposals to protect leaseholders from freehold management companies who fail to manage properties well- and yet charge for their services- were lost as a result of the election being called. Having seen so many local residents be poorly treated by both private and social freehold management bodies, I know there is much more to do on this subject and will continue to champion clearer and stronger powers of redress.

If I am returned as your MP on July 4th, I want to assure you that I will continue to fight for leaseholders, whether that is through the abolition of ground rents, or meaningful rights to compensation where your freeholder has failed to maintain the property. The need to ensure commonhold as the default mode of ownership instead of leasehold is something that there was cross party agreement on and I hope will form the basis for future legislation in this area. I will also continue to make representations to Waltham Forest Council regarding the need to back these changes and protect residents – newly arrived and long term – in our area from the financially damaging impact of leasehold contracts.

I want to thank all those leaseholders in Walthamstow who contributed to our research into this area – the evidence you provided powerful testimony for our campaigning on this subject in Parliament. If I am re-elected I will continue to use this material in making representations on this matter and keep you updated on our progress in abolishing leasehold.

As an election has now been called parliament will no longer sit until after this point- therefore please note in accordance with the parliamentary protocol, if you wish to continue to get updates from me on this issue or any other please sign up for these as I will not be able to contact you as a constituent during this period. You can find the link to do this here: