Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Bill [Lords]

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Mr. Taylor: Will the hon. Lady concede that, whereas there is no width of market in the reversion—there is only one reversion—there are always alternative sources of professional advice.

Shona McIsaac: I agree, but I am talking not about the leaseholder's solicitor but about the fact that when one is enfranchising one has to pay one's own fees and those of the freeholder. That is not fair or just. The hon. Gentleman mentioned council house tenants earlier. They did not have to pay the council's fees, so far as I know, in a compulsory purchase situation, so I do not see why the leaseholders should have to pay the fees of the landowner.

The ground rent of the property to which I was referring was £2.

Mr. Wiggin: I am sympathetic to what the hon. Lady is trying to achieve in her amendment. However, her emphasis has wandered somewhat. In the case of the three years left to run, had those leaseholders decided not to continue the lease for a further period and waited until it expired, they would admittedly be in a vulnerable position, whether or not they were forced to repurchase their house, but they would not be liable for fees. One is buying something that one did not have before and therefore paying a fee for it. I do not necessarily accept that that is an equitable way to do business, but it is something that is done and understood. Before we go too far down the road of claiming social injustice, that is something that people know about, and they have an option to avoid it by waiting until the lease expires.

Column Number: 145

Shona McIsaac: I totally disagree with the hon. Gentleman.

It being One o'clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

        Adjourned till this day at half-past Four o'clock.

Column Number: 147

The following Members attended the Committee:
Illsley, Mr. Eric (Chairman)
Cash, Mr.
Crausby, Mr.
Doughty, Sue
Hendrick, Mr.
Hepburn, Mr.
Iddon, Dr.
Keeble, Ms
Lewis, Dr. Julian
McIsaac, Shona

Column Number: 148

Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Sanders, Mr.
Selous, Andrew
Stringer, Mr.
Taylor, Mr. John
Thomas, Gareth
Wiggin, Mr.
Woolas, Mr.
Wright, David

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