§ Lord Brett
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What effect the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Bill, if enacted, will have on the rights of Crown leaseholders to enfranchise and to acquire a new or extended lease. [HL1960]196WA
§ The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Baroness Scotland of Asthal)
Following a statement made on 2 November 1992 by Sir George Young, the Crown authorities gave an undertaking that the Crown would, as landlord and subject to specified conditions, agree to the enfranchisement or extension of residential long leases under the same qualifications and terms which applied by virtue of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 to lessees who hold from other landlords.
It was announced on 3 April 2001, Official Report, cols, WA 110–112 that the Crown authorities had confirmed that they would apply the undertaking to the provisions of the 1967 Act and the 1993 Act as amended by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Bill which was then before Parliament. As was announced by my noble and learned friend Lord Falconer of Thoroton during Third Reading of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Bill, which is before this Parliament, on 19 November 2001, (Official Report, col 927), the Crown authorities have now confirmed that this also applies to those Acts as amended by the current Bill. This undertaking accordingly supersedes the one given on 3 April 2001.
The full terms of the agreement made by the Crown are as follows:
(1) the Crown as landlord will, subject to the conditions described below, agree to the enfranchisement or extension of residential long leases or the grant of new residential long leases, under the same qualifications and terms which will apply by virtue of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 to lessees who hold from other landlords;
(2) enfranchisement will be refused where property stands on land which is held inalienably;
(3) enfranchisement will also be refused where certain circumstances, which only apply to the Crown, obtain. These are:
- (i) where there are particular security considerations (on the advice of the Royal and Diplomatic Protection Group of the Metropolitan Police or other security agencies);
- (ii) where properties are in, or intimately connected with, the curtilage of historic Royal Parks and Palaces;
- (iii) where properties, or the areas in which they are situated, have a long historic or particular association with the Crown.
(4) the areas referred to in paragraph (3) (iii) include the Off Islands within the Isles of Scilly (St Agnes, Bryher, St Martins and Tresco), the Garrison on St Mary's, the village of Newton St Loe and parts of central Dartmoor. The properties referred to in that paragraph include old land revenue and reverter properties and grace and favour properties;
(5) where enfranchisement is refused on the grounds set out in paragraphs (2) and (3) but the tenant would otherwise qualify for enfranchisement, lease extension 197WA or the grant of a new lease by analogy with the statutes, the Crown will be prepared to negotiate new leases;
(6) the Crown will follow the valuation bases set out in the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993;
(7) the Crown will agree to be bound by arbitration where there is dispute over valuation or other terms, except in cases under paragraphs (2) and (3). The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal will he empowered to act as the arbitration body, and will hear such disputes on voluntary reference;
(8) the Crown will be entitled to apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for approval of a scheme of estate management in the same way as other landlords.