§ Sir John Wheeler
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what changes he plans to make to the proposals for the enfranchisement of long leasehold flats, which he announced last July; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir George Young
Following extensive consultation the scheme for enfranchisement in England and Wales, which I announced last year, is to be modified and extended.
The main framework of the scheme to give long-leaseholders of flats the collective right to buy their freehold will not be changed. Nor will the compensation arrangements. But we shall simplify the criteria for qualification of long-leaseholders and buildings, and give a right to former freeholders to lease back parts of buildings let direct to renting tenants or used for business purposes.
In addition, we will give flat owners in blocks which are not eligible for enfranchisement a right to extend their leases, at market price. The details of this proposal will be subject to consultation.162W
We will also remove the rateable value, and rental equivalent value, limits on eligibility of houses for enfranchisement. Long leaseholders of houses of any value will be given the right to buy their freeholds at market value.
A revised information leaflet will shortly be available to the public on request from the Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office. I will be placing copies of text, together with a brief resume of our proposals, in the Library. We will introduce this legislation when parliamentary time permits.