Glossary for leaseholders

Assignment: leases are assigned to the buyer of a leasehold property

Counter notice: having been served with a statutory notice by a leaseholder, a freeholder can issue a counter notice detailing their valuation of the premium. This must be submitted by a strict deadline and the help of a specialist solicitor is therefore required.

Determination: when a lease is prematurely brought to an end for a reason other than forfeiture, it is determined.

Enfranchisement: leaseholders with more than to years ownership behind them have a legal right (under certain circumstances) to buy the freehold from the freeholder in a process known as lease, collective (multiple leaseholders buying the freehold on a block of flats) or freehold enfranchisement or the ‘right to buy’. Once enfranchised, the lease is effectively ended and the purchaser becomes a full owner.

Forfeiture: if a leaseholder contravenes the terms of the lease, the freeholder can apply for a court order to forfeit the lease. This means that the lease is terminated before it has run down to zero years and the property goes back into the freeholders hands. There is no higher penalty for a leaseholder.

Freehold: a type of property ownership which is unrestricted and gives the owner a title which can be registered at the Land Registry. The title can be bought and sold.

Freeholder: someone who owns the freehold title.

Ground rent: this is a charge paid by the leaseholder to the freeholder annually. The amount of ground rent that is payable is detailed in the lease and may change at specified dates.

Head landlord: a leaseholder who gives a shorter lease to another leaseholder can become head landlord in a chain of leasehold ownership.

Lease extension: either through informal negotiations or the formal statutory lease extension process, a leaseholder can extend the length of their initial lease.

Leaseholder: Someone with ownership of a leasehold title.

Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT): an LVT consists of a layman, a surveyor and a solicitor. This acts as an informal property court which can make judgments on disputes between freeholders and leaseholders which are binding on both sides. Often the LVT will be used to set a premium after disputes arise over the premium for lease extension.

Marriage value: this is an additional fee payable to the landlord when a lease with less than 80 years to run is extended. This is because extending the lease will make the property more valuable and the freeholder is entitled to half of this increased value. When the value of the property is combined (or married) with the extended lease, the value is higher than these things separately. The cost of extending a lease is therefore far higher when the lease is less than 80 years because this marriage value kicks in. Sometimes, landlords will try to stall lease extension proceedings to that the lease runs below 80 years and they receive more money. This is why you will need a specialist solicitor.

Peppercorn rent: in order to satisfy contracts in English law, very small payments will sometimes be needed. This is the case with peppercorn rent

Premium: surveyors will calculate the price which the leaseholder must pay to the freeholder in order to extend a lease – this is known as the premium. The property value and the terms of the lease will be considered when setting the premium.

Reversion: leases which naturally run down to zero after 99 or 125 years automatically return to the ownership of the landlord.

Statutory lease extension: this is a right of those who have owned their leasehold property for two years. Such a leaseholder can compel the leaseholder to grant an extension of 90 years at peppercorn rent.

Statutory notice: A leaseholder can serve this notice on a freeholder to start the statutory lease extension process. The regulations surrounding what must be included in this notice are strict so a specialist solicitor will need to draft the notice.

Title: the legal recognition of ownership which is recorded through registration with the Land Registry.

For specialist Freehold Enfranchisement Advice – contact us now

Lease extension and lease enfranchisement are very complex legal processes which is why it is so crucial to instruct a specialist solicitor. Our team have the expertise you need – lease extension and enfranchisement is all they do. So contact us today today:

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