When the Parties Cannot Agree
If the parties cannot agree then this phase (month 5) commences when the leaseholder or the landlord files an application with the FTT.
Both parties have this right but it is normally the leaseholder that applies (through their solicitor). By making this application, the leaseholder is asking the FTT to decide on the price at which the landlord must sell the lease extension.
If an application is to be made this must be done no sooner than 2 months and no later than 6 months after the date of the counter notice.
Note: The reason that the law bans an application being made to the FTT sooner than 2 months after the counter notice is to allow enough time for both parties to hold negotiations and reach an agreement on the price.
A large majority of lease extension cases are concluded in this way, after the leaseholder has served notice, and before an FTT hearing is held.
Hearing at the FTT
This phase (month 8) begins when a hearing is held at the FTT. It usually takes 3 to 4 months from the time an application is sent for a hearing to take place, which usually takes a maximum of 1 day. The LVT panel usually comprises 3 members, a lawyer, a surveyor and a layperson, although a panel can also comprise just 2 people.
It is not a legal requirement that the leaseholder be represented by professional advisers although they may choose to have a solicitor and or a surveyor to speak on their behalf. Some leaseholders may also instruct a barrister to be present.
After the FTT has reached its decision it sends its written determination to both parties. The document will contain the price at which the landlord must sell the lease extension. This determination becomes final after 28 days but if the leaseholder finds that price is too high he is not obliged to buy it.