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The statutory right to a 90 year lease extension was finally granted to leaseholders of flats (leaseholders of houses had the right granted to them several decades previously) because they had been getting increasingly angry that not only had they paid a large amount of money up front (the premium) and continued to pay for repairs, maintenance and buildings insurance but the freeholders were making yet more money by charging what they liked for extending the lease. This route also provides protection under legislation and time frames for each part of the process., unlike that of a informal (voluntary) lease extensions.

Notice of Claim

The first part of the statutory process is that of serving a s42 Notice of Claim on the immediate landlord (i.e. the freeholder who will have the sufficient superior interest in the property to be able to grant it). The leaseholder will have already obtained their valuation for inclusion in the notice and which they pay for. Ideally they will use the services of a specialist in the area of enfranchising such as the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Specialists (ALEP).

The Notice will contain the following:

  1. The full name of the leaseholder and the address of the flat;
  2. Sufficient information about the flat to name the property and the leaseholder to which the application relates;
  3. Details of the lease including its date of commencement and its terms;
  4. The premium proposed (offer price) for the new lease and or other amounts payable where there are intermediate leases;
  5. The terms that the leaseholder proposes for the new lease if different from the present lease;
  6. The name and address of the leaseholders’ representative if one has been appointed;
  7. Ground rent payable;
  8. The deadline by which the landlord must reply which, by law, is within 2 months of the date of the notice.

Note: Whilst it is not a legal requirement to hire a solicitor to serve the required notice on the landlord, it is advisable to do so.

The next part of the process is that of the freehold valuation which is required by both partie and for which the leaseholder pays.

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