Call for evidence: Jointly-owned properties

Closed 7 Apr 2024

Opened 21 Mar 2024


The Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) provides far-reaching protections for qualifying leaseholders from the costs associated with remediating historical building safety defects. The principle of our leaseholder protection package is to protect leaseholders living in their own homes in unsafe buildings. As such, there needed to be a threshold which set the right balance between those purchasing properties primarily to live in and those who have made primarily commercial or investment decisions, whether they are freeholders or leaseholders.

The Government keeps all policies under close review and has always recognised that any line drawn between those living in leasehold properties and those with a purely financial interest is a challenging one to get absolutely right. Striking a balance, though, is necessary.

The BSA has now been in operation for nearly two years, and following feedback we are taking the opportunity to review the qualifying criteria for obtaining the protections in relation to whether properties are owned jointly by two or more individuals. We believe there is a particular issue with how this impacts leasehold properties that are jointly owned. We would like to assess whether and/or how the law around this issue needs updating, and we are issuing this Call for Evidence to support that assessment.

Definition of Landlord

Throughout this call for evidence, "landlord” means the person who has the right to charge individual apartment leaseholders service charge, this could be a freeholder (sometimes referred to as the building owner), it could also be a head leaseholder.  It does not include an agent of either of these.


Why your views matter

The government is continuing to monitor the impacts of the current protections and has been made aware of a perceived issue in the qualifying criteria for the protections, for people who own their principal home jointly, and additional properties jointly. However, the department does not have enough data on the number of leaseholders this issue is impacting. As part of the policy development, this call for evidence seeks to understand the scale of the issue, and to consider whether any changes could be proposed by the government. The department would therefore like to have evidence from both leaseholders and landlords on who may be affected if this policy is changed. This is why we are launching a call for evidence.