Although there are often talks of lease extension or extending a lease, the right conferred on a lessee is to acquire a new lease (in substitution for the existing lease) for a term expiring, say 90 years, after the date of expiry of the existing lease. There is no such right to extend the lease. It is important that the lessee has to have owned the flat for at least two years to qualify to extend a lease or should have taken an assignment of the initial notice (the notice that starts the procedure) from such a lessee. The bone of contention which leads to disputes is the price the lessee has to pay for the new lease. If there cannot be any agreement about it, it can be determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.
Lessees often consider collective enfranchisement, which refers to 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 time-consuming, more complicated, and costly. Getting a lease extended is more straightforward.
We give advice to lessees and lessors about their rights and represent them in lease enfranchisement cases. We also make any requisite applications to the Court.