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.