New laws come into effect ahead of parliament shut down

A handful of new laws have received Royal Assent before parliament shuts down for the election.

The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Act aims to give consumers rights across the UK, with greater control and clarity over online purchases. Business will be required to provide clearer information to consumers before they enter a subscription contract, remind consumers that their free trial or low-cost trial is coming to an end, and ensure consumers can easily exit a contract.

The Victims and Prisoners Bill has received Royal Assent, and will create a new arm’s length body called the Infected Blood Compensation Authority (IBCA). Before the IBCA can make final payments, the Government will need to make the regulations to enact the compensation scheme for victims of the Infected Blood scandal. The legislation also means that the final regulations must be made by the Government, within three months.

Sir Robert Francis, Interim Chair of the IBCA, said: "I am very pleased to see that today Parliament has passed the legislation bringing the Authority into existence and to be formally confirmed as its Interim Chair.

"I fully understand the urgency for the infected and affected community to enable the Authority to start to receive applications and make awards in the shortest possible time, and we are already working very hard to achieve that.

"I will publish a more detailed statement about our work in the very near future."

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act aims to give homeowners more rights, power and protections over their homes. The Act will make it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy their freehold, increase standard lease extension terms to 990 years for houses and flats, and provide greater transparency over service charges.

It will also ban the sale of new leasehold houses other than in exceptional circumstances, end excessive buildings insurance commissions for freeholders and managing agents, and scrap the requirement for a new leaseholder to have owned their house or flat for two years before they can buy or extend their lease.

 

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