The government has revealed in its ‘Levelling Up’ white paper that legislation will be set in motion if necessary to make sure more upfront information is available to prospective home buyers.
Published late this week, the 332-page document states that approximately a third of all housing transactions fall through, resulting in people having to pay hundreds of millions of pounds, and pledges to improve the ‘expensive, time-consuming and stressful’ process of selling and buying a home.
It notes: ‘The UK government and the industry will work together to ensure the critical material information buyers need to know – like tenure type, lease length and any service charges – are available digitally wherever possible from trusted and authenticated sources, and provided only once. If necessary, the UK government will legislate.’
Practitioner groups and representative bodies have been looking at ways to offer more upfront information. Last year the Law Society started trialling a new transaction form, TA6 Part 1, to make additional information during listing. The Home Buying and Selling Group published a Buying and Selling Property Information (BASPI) dataset, which included details from the Law Society’s current TA6 form, property information questionnaire and valuation summary.
The government also intends to see take-up of more commonhold flats to ‘level up’ the country by supporting more people onto the housing ladder, and also plans to bring forward commonhold legislation as part of a wider policy.
The government has been eager to encourage commonhold as an appealing alternative form of property ownership and revealed a Commonhold Council last year to ready the market.