Lease Extension and Enfranchisement Process
Most flats are owned leasehold and in turn most flat owners (with limited exceptions) will qualify for the right to compulsorily purchase a new longer lease. This is known as a “lease extension”. The new lease is for an additional 90 years on top of the current unexpired term, and reduces any existing ground rent to £nil.
Most flat owners (with limited exceptions) also have the right to compulsorily purchase the freehold of their building on a collective basis with a minimum of 50% of flat owners in the building. This is known as “enfranchisement”. Once the freehold is purchased then each participant in the process will normally receive a new 999-year lease at £nil ground rent, together with a share in the new freehold owning company.
The process of lease extension / enfranchisement typically follows five steps, which are summarised below. The whole process typically takes 6-9 months from start to finish, but can sometimes be quicker or slower.
You instruct us to provide valuation advice on the premium payable for either a lease extension or enfranchisement claim, together with initial offer sums and guidance on the other likely costs involved in the process (such as the freeholder’s legal and professional fees). This advice is reliable and straightforward, and we are always happy to answer any query that may arise. Our job is to handle the valuation side of the process.
You then instruct a specialist solicitor to formally start the process for the lease extension / enfranchisement. The solicitor will handle all of the legal side of the process and serve a Notice on the freeholder on your behalf.
The freeholder replies to your solicitor and serves a Counter Notice. Either a deal is agreed at that point or some negotiation is needed on the price. Negotiations normally resolve most disputes promptly at modest cost. We are able to handle the negotiations on your behalf should you instruct us to do so.
If such negotiation does not resolve any argument on the price, then this can be independently determined by a Tribunal. They can also resolve any legal argument that may arise. The requirement for Tribunal involvement is rare.
The new lease is paid for, the legal paperwork is completed by your solicitor and is then registered at the Land Registry.
Maunder Taylor has extensive experience in providing the initial valuation advice (step 1), undertaking negotiations on the price (step 3) and giving Expert Witness evidence at Tribunal hearings (step 4). Each year, our specialist team undertakes over 500 step 1 valuations and are involved in over 300 step 2 negotiations. We also regularly attend Tribunal hearings when they are needed, often for cases involving unusual disputed points or high-value issues, including some landmark decisions over the years. Our team are often consulted by other firms on complex matters due to our experience and expertise.
Contact Ross Maunder Taylor for more information about our Leasehold Reform Act valuation services.