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These are mostly to be found in central London. As such, our team is very well placed to advise on this niche area of the law.
Under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, qualifying tenants (as with leasehold flats) have the right to a statutory renewal/extension of their lease and the right to enfranchise the freehold. However, the terms of the acquisition differ from those of the 1993 Act.
A qualifying tenant has the right to acquire a new lease with a term expiring 50 years after the term date of the existing lease at what is known as a ‘modern’ ground rent (i.e. letting value of the site) commencing at the original term date subject to review after 25 years. The other terms will remain the same save for any modification to update the lease for reasons of, for example, alterations made to the property. There is no premium payable for the new lease.
In practice, tenants largely chose to acquire the freehold rather than a new lease as this will not only enhance the saleability of the property but the qualification criteria are not as strict as those for acquiring a new lease. Notwithstanding, the building must qualify.
A premium will be payable for the freehold and should be calculated by a specialist valuer. We would be happy to recommend and instruct a valuer on your behalf.
As with procedures under the 1993 Act, the process is started by qualifying tenants serving a formal notice. This notice has a contractual effect and triggers a strict statutory timetable and liability for the landlord’s costs. Therefore, we advise you seek professional advice before starting the process.
For further information please contact:
Andy Finkel (Harrow) on 020 8422 5678