*

Leasehold property extensions and management

Leasehold property extensions and management

Owners of leasehold properties have options to extend existing their leases, take over the management of the common parts (collectively with neighbours) and/or purchase the freehold either as individual house owner or as the owner of a flat collectively with neighbours.

Options available to Leaseholders

Whilst the legislation empowers leaseholders in this way, it is complex and extremely detailed. In order to ensure that the process is effective you need to use a specialist solicitor with considerable experience of the procedures involved. The legislation has been developed to make it considerably easier for leaseholders to take these actions but as the consequences for the freeholder are so great the legislation requires accurate and precise notification and adherence to deadlines and timescales.

Extending your lease

Under The Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 owners of leasehold properties have the ability to apply to extend  their existing leases or collectively with other leaseholders of the building  purchase the freehold of the building.

Under the provisions of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 the leaseholders can take over the management of their building.

The legislation requires accurate and precise notification and adherence to deadlines and timescales.

Extending your lease

Under The Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 qualifying leaseholders can apply to extend their lease by adding  90 years to  the current unexpired term. A premium would be payable to the landlord for the extension. It would be prudent to consider making  an application under the Act to extend a lease prior to a lease reducing to 80 years . This procedure is open to all leaseholders who meet the qualification criteria and would not require the co-operation of the other leaseholders in the  building or estate.

Right to Enfranchise

The Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 provides the right for the leaseholders  to join together to Purchase the  Freehold of their building.

Subject to the application meeting the qualification criteria under the Act the Freeholder cannot object to the sale.

Once the Leaseholders  have purchased the freehold of the building they will then become responsible for managing the building. On purchase of the freehold of the building the tenants who have taken part in the purchase of the freehold often consider extending or varying their individual leases.

Right to Manage

The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 makes provision for leaseholders to  take over the Landlord’s management functions and so to take responsibility for the day to day running of their  building.

At least half of  the leaseholders of the building  will need to agree to take this action. The landlord's consent to the transfer of the management arrangements is not required and even where there is an absent Landlord the leaseholders are able to apply to be able to secure the management.

There is no need to prove any mismanagement by the landlord or the current managing agent to implement the right. As long as the leaseholders are qualifying leaseholders and satisfy the  provisions of the Act  the freeholder/managing agent cannot prevent the transfer of management powers to a Right to Manage company.

Mandy Cowen at our Harpenden office has specialist knowledge in respect of all aspects of Lease extensions, Leasehold Enfranchisement and Right to Manage claims. Mandy acts for individual leaseholders, groups of leaseholders and  freeholders in respect of the process. For more information on any of the above or the process generally, please contact Mandy Cowen.

On behalf of both of us many thanks to you and Jane for your efficient handling of both our purchase and our sale. Apologies for not passing on our thanks earlier, but as you will be aware the first weeks in a new home are a bit full on! As ever, no transaction is without its hurdles and those that arose were calmly and efficiently dealt with, which was much appreciated. 

04/04/2017
Haqib Iqbal
Partner - Commercial and Residential Property
Jane Joseph
Partner - Residential and Commercial Property
Andrew Orriss
Partner - Residential and Commercial Property
Ian Simpson
Consultant and Head of Agriculture and Notary Public
Trevor Kidd
Partner - Residential Property
Kelly Loft
Senior Conveyancing Executive
Charlene Shillingford
Chartered Legal Executive
Craig Souster
Senior Conveyancing Executive
Dawn Goldie
Senior Conveyancing Executive
Mandy Cowen
Solicitor - Residential and Commercial Property
Haneef Khan
Conveyancing Executive
Alisah Iqbal
Trainee Solicitor
Lauren Ellis
Conveyancing Executive