If you are a UK leasehold flat or house owner, did you realise there is legislation which gives you the right to increase the value of your property? The value of your flat is likely to be significantly increased by a properly negotiated lease extension. However, any leasehold extension involves a complex area of law and it’s critical to have lease extension solicitors who really understand what they’re doing.
With over 20 years experience in this area, you can rely on our solicitors for the right specialist advice.
Lease extensions & other leaseholders rights
In most cases individuals who hold property under a long lease have various rights to force the Landlord to either sell them the freehold by acting jointly with the other leaseholders in the building or extend their leases by a further 90 years on top of the remaining term. Here at Peter Brown & Company we have many years’ experience of helping clients to do this.
The legislation in this area is complicated and there are strict time limits for serving and receiving notices which if not complied with will result in the process failing. It is therefore vital to have experienced legal advisers to guide you.
As an alterative to the rigid statutory procedures you are of course free to contact your Landlord directly to see whether they are prepared to negotiate an extension to your lease or the sale of the freehold.
If you are contemplating a freehold purchase or lease extension the first thing you will need to think about is the premium to be paid to the Freeholder. You will therefore need a formal valuation. We have a relationship with a number of local Surveyors who are experts in providing this. If you cannot reach a settlement with the Freeholder they will also be able to provide expert evidence at the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (the body setup to sort out disputes). However in nearly all cases settlement is reached long before this stage. We also may need to use a specialist barrister to represent you at hearings before this Tribunal but again this will only be in exceptional cases.
When dealing with Lease extensions or purchases of freeholds we will also be able to advise you on the terms of the Lease itself. It is extremely common for older style Leases to now be “defective”. Lenders over the last few years have tightened up their standard requirements for all leases, with the consequence that some older style leases are no longer acceptable. Many of the problems can be covered by indemnity insurance, but it is of course better to rectify the underlying defects in the lease before you come on to sell your flat. Any rectification can therefore be done during the process of extension or freehold purchase.
Please note that even if you buy the freehold jointly with other leaseholders you continue to hold by way of lease which governs your legal relationship with the other leaseholders. The freehold will be owned either by a company specifically set up by you and the other leaseholders in which you will have a share, or by you and the other leaseholders individually.
We will tailor make a fee structure that you are happy with based on the degree of involvement that we have in the particular case. If you would like any further information in respect of likely costs or any other matter please feel free to contact John, Dan or Sara.