These FAQs may help you identify your next steps.
Why do I need to extend my lease?
There are many reasons why you should extend your lease. As a lease gets shorter, the cost of extending the lease becomes more expensive. If there are less than 80 years left on a lease, it may also be difficult to sell the flat.
Can I buy my freehold if I have extended my lease?
Yes, in principle, there is nothing stopping you from buying your freehold. However, you will still need to satisfy the basic criteria in the same way as if you had not yet extended your lease.
What does “share of freehold” mean?
A share of freehold means that the freehold is collectively owned by those leaseholders who have participated in the freehold purchase. If a leaseholder buys a flat with a share of the freehold, this means that they will part own the freehold. This does not however mean that the flat is a “freehold flat” and the terms of your lease will still apply.
What is the difference between a Court and Tribunal?
The Court deals with general litigation matters. The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (“the Tribunal”) forms part of the Court system but is designed to deal with specialist property matters. The law determines which matters should be decided by the Court (such as repossession cases, dilapidations disputes) and which matters should be decided by the Tribunal (such as service charge disputes, Right to Manage disputes). In some cases it may be necessary to use both the Court and Tribunal at different points (such as in a lease extension transaction). We have both Court and Tribunal experience in all property-related matters.
Why should I buy the freehold?
Owners of leasehold flats can group together to buy the freehold in certain circumstances and, once acquired, this enables them to have control over the running of their building(s). Effectively now the new ‘freeholder’, you will collectively assume all of the freeholder’s obligations under the leases. This will involve maintaining and repairing the property and running the service charge accounts. Importantly, it will give you full control over the management of the building, including the selection and appointment of a new managing agent.
I have received a formal notice. What should I do?
There are many different types of formal notices and it is imperative that you obtain legal advice immediately. Most notices will only have a short timeframe for a response and it is therefore essential that prompt advice is obtained. If a deadline is missed, this can have serious repercussions.
Why do I need to use a specialist solicitor?
Landlord and Tenant legislation is highly technical and driven by strict deadlines. Mistakes can easily be made, which can cost you time and money. We only undertake Landlord and Tenant work and invest time training our staff to the highest standard. We are therefore best placed to assist you with the complexities of the law.
How much do you charge?
We will always provide you with a full written quotation prior to undertaking any work. Most of our work is charged on a fixed fee basis so that you know how much you will have to pay from the outset.