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Frequently Asked Questions

Lease Extension​

If you have a statutory lease extension under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, it will be extended by 90 years (so 90 years in addition to what is already remaining on your lease). It may be possible to extend your lease by other lengths but this would be by negotiation with your freeholder and would not be covered by the Act (This is known as the ‘Non-Statutory Process’ )

You can extend your lease as many times as you want.

To obtain a Leasehold extension to your lease you have to pay a premium to your freeholder. This figure is determined by a surveyor, who calculates a proposed figure, based on a number of factors including the remaining term of the lease and the value of the property. This figure has to be negotiated with your freeholder and in statutory cases, where negotiations fail, it is determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. In addition to the premium, you will have to pay the professional fees of your solicitor and surveyor and also your freeholder’s valuation and legal costs as well. Our comparison service ensures that your professional fees are very competitive, whilst giving you the reassurance that the professionals you instruct are of a high quality. You will know the cost up front, giving you peace of mind by getting a quote now.

If your freeholder cannot be traced, then an application can be made to the County Court for the lease to be extended in the absence of the freeholder. You need to show that all reasonable efforts have been made to trace the freeholder. Although this work is also not standard, and therefore not covered by our quote, it may be a cheaper option in total, because the lease will normally be granted on the basis of the valuation in your Statutory notice, which will be lower than if a freeholder had put in a counter notice. Your solicitor will give you advice and an estimate of the additional charges, if this applies to you.

The property reverts back to the freeholder or other party above you in the chain of ownership.

Lease renewal applies to commercial leases of shops, offices and warehouses whereas lease extension applies to residential property such as flats and houses.

Marriage value is the additional value added to the collective value of the various levels of ownership of a particular property when extending a lease. So for example, the value of the flat should increase because it now has a longer lease but the value of the freehold will decrease because the freeholder has to wait even longer to get his property back. This will create a “total” value difference between the “before value” and the “after value”.

Marriage value is calculated by valuing each of the interests in a property before the lease extension and then again after the lease extension will take effect. The difference between the two values is known as “marriage value”.

It is not calculated; it is agreed between the freeholder and first buyer of a property and is then stated in the lease and will apply for the duration of the lease and so any subsequent purchasers will have to abide by the rents stated in the lease. However, once a lease is extended a new agreement is reached between the freeholder and the current leaseholder for the rent going forward. If the lease is extended in the statutory manner then the ground rent is reduced to a peppercorn (which is effectively £1) per year.

If your lease is extended under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, the ground rent will become a peppercorn (effectively £1 per annum) until the lease expires. If the lease is extended informally without the protection of the Act, you may negotiate an increased ground rent, or agree to more ground rent reviews in return for your freeholder agreeing to the extension.

About Leasehold Valuation Expert​

We have specialised in representing tenants since 2007. We have dealt with properties all over the UK and have represented over 150 Clients.

These claims involve both legal and valuation issues. The lawyer can advise you on your legal rights and deal with the necessary conveyance. The surveyor is the one who acts as a valuer in advising you as to the correct price. He then acts as a negotiator in seeking to agree the best price with the opposing party. In those rare occasions where the matter is referred to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal, the surveyor must then act as an expert witness in presenting evidence at the hearing.

First, as a valuer we prepare a valuation to estimate how much it is likely to cost. In the case of claims under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, it is necessary to propose a price in the notice and, following case law, that price must be reasonable. It is therefore essential to have such advice prior to serving a notice under the 1993 Act.

With claims under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, there is no requirement to propose a price. However, it is still advisable, as any statutory notice makes the claimant liable for the landlord’s legal and valuation costs, whether the transaction is completed or not. Therefore obtaining a professional opinion at the outset may avoid the possibility of the price subsequently proving unacceptable, resulting in the need to withdraw from the claim and incurring abortive costs.

If the client decides to proceed with a statutory claim, the procedure to establish a legal right is best dealt with by a solicitor with whom we will consult to ensure that a suitable price is proposed in the notice, where this is necessary.

Once the landlord has admitted the claim, our function is that of negotiator and our aim is to reach a settlement at the best possible price. There may be issues relating to the form of the new lease which fall within our responsibility, but generally issues relating to the form of the new lease, or the terms of the freehold transfer, are best dealt with by a solicitor.

By far the majority of claims are resolved by negotiated settlement, but where this is not possible, the matter may be referred to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. In this event, our role is that of an expert witness. We will prepare the necessary proof of evidence, and consult with counsel, if counsel is to be appointed. We will then present a submission to the tribunal by way of an examination in chief and deal with cross-examination by the opposing counsel.

The total income a freeholder receives from its leaseholder is capitalised to calculate what the future receipt of these rents will amount to if all received today. In addition to this the value of the flat if sold at the end of the lease but at today’s value with the money being received today is added to this figure.

Leasehold Valuation Tribunal ​

It is the court that determines any disputes relating to residential property (such as non-agreement of lease extension premium).

There is no real difference. The tribunal deals only with residential property cases whereas courts deal with all other matters.

​Each party gets the opportunity to put their case forward why their figures should be adopted as opposed to the other side’s figures. Each party is usually represented by a barrister/solicitor and a surveyor. The panel of the Tribunal usually consists of 3 people – at least 1 legal and 1 property specialist.

Fill the application form via online website..

Visit the Leasehold Advisory Service for decisions of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

The initial application cost is only a couple of hundred pounds but the total cost of going to tribunal depends very much on the advisors used and also the complexity of the case.

Sometimes. it really depends upon whether the tribunal allows you to do so.

The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal has the power, in statutory lease extension cases, to decide the premium payable for the lease extension, if it has not been possible to reach an agreement. Only a small number of cases reach this stage, the majority are dealt with by negotiation. If you do have to apply to the tribunal, your solicitor and surveyor can deal with this. However, this is not covered by our original quote, and you will be charged separately for this stage. Your solicitor and surveyor will tell you at the outset what their rates for this work will be.

Leasehold Enfranchisement​

This is the process of freeing yourself from the slavery of a lease. The term applies only to residential property and there are various statutory provisions distinguishing the different rules for houses, individual flats and blocks of flats.

You have to serve the correct notices on your landlord and pay him a premium to compensate him for his loss once the property is purchased by you.

​Providing you and the property meet the criteria then yes you do have a legal right to purchase your freehold.

Freehold ownership means you own the property outright forever. Leasehold ownership means you only own the property for a set number of years after which it reverts to the freeholder.

You should take advice from your solicitor before buying. You can ask your seller to start the lease extension process before the sale, if they qualify. The law makes it possible for a buyer to take over the process if the seller has initiated the correct procedures, so you will not have to wait for 2 years to qualify yourself.

In certain circumstances, tenants can group together to purchase the freehold of their building. This is a complex process, requiring the consent of the majority of the affected leaseholders, and there are detailed qualifying criteria. If you would like to obtain a quote for this, or would like further information please contact us.

It can be anything between about two months and thirty months. Most range from start to finish at about six months. A typical series of events would be as follows: 

  1. A statutory notice is served requiring a response within 2 months. 
  2. 2 months later the notice is admitted (but it could be that much sooner). 
  3. As soon as the notice is admitted, the landlord may file an application with the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal and at the same time it will then be possible to enter into negotiations with the landlords’ surveyor. Those negotiations may endure for several months. 
  4. After about six to eight months, if one of the parties has lodged an application with the valuation tribunal, a date for the hearing may be notified in two months. 
  5. Once the price is agreed or determined by the tribunal, the statutory regulations allow that the landlord cannot serve a completion notice for one month and that completion notice must allow one month – so that’s two months in aggregate – and if completion has not taken place by the end of those two months, the landlord can serve a second notice requiring interest to be paid. If it has not been completed by the expiry of those two further months the claim is deemed to be withdrawn, the landlord can claim their abortive costs from the tenant and the tenant is debarred from making another claim for three years. 

If either party lodges an appeal to the Lands Tribunal, it would delay matters by about a year.

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