Although we all talk of lease extension or extending a lease the
right that a lessee has is not to extend his lease but to acquire a
new lease (in substitution for the existing lease) for a term
expiring 90 years after the date of expiry of the existing lease.
To qualify to extend a lease the lessee has to have owned the flat
for at least two years or have taken an assignment of the initial
notice (the notice that starts the procedure) from such a lessee.
The issue that gives rise to most disputes is the price the lessee
has to pay for the new lease. If this cannot be agreed it can be
determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.
An important point to note is that it is desirable for lease
extension to take place before the term of the existing lease falls
below 80 years - otherwise a higher premium will be payable.
Lessees often consider collective enfranchisement, which is the
right of a number of lessees to acquire the freehold of their
building. This gives them management control and facilitates lease
extensions. However, collective enfranchisement is more
complicated, more time-consuming and costly. Simply extending a
lease is more straightforward.
We advise lessees and lessors of their rights and represent them
in lease enfranchisement cases. We also make any applications to
the Court or the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal that may be