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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32231
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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A legal question. I am a leaseholder of a flat in a

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Hi, a legal question. I am a leaseholder of a flat in a development of 25 flats. I am also one of 25 shareholders in the company which owns the freeholds of the site and all the flats. My lease has 100 years to run and I have not been concerned to extend the lease yet.
However, recently neighbours have started an exercise, involving a beauty parade of legal firms for a mass extension of the leases. I am so far going along with this rather than be odd man out. I am concerned that the exercise appears to involve possibly a master lease and possibly new individual leases. The development is in 4 buildings, estate costs are shared between all 25 equally but building specific costs internal and external are allocated in each building based mainly on the relative square footage of the flats. My flat Is the smallest in my building, I pay approx 10% and e.g.the largest flat pays 33 % and I am afraid new leases for the purpose of extension will disadvantage me by attempting to change these proportions to something more like equality or simply by ignoring the slightly complicated service charge provisions. So, whilst still agreeing to extension, how can I resist new leases if they penalise me? Thank you. Rod

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

May I confirm if the current lease prescribes the method for calculating liability based on square footage as you say or if the lease provides that the landlord must determine the fair and equitable method for determining respect of liability and square footage has been the practice up until now please?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Each lease contains a ‘lessee’s building proportion’ mine is 10.52 percent. Leases are to common form. If a building cost item covers more than one building the management company, not freeholder or property agent must make an equitable division, but this has not yet happened. From the beginning 22 years ago, building costs were all added up and divided equally between 25, which was grossly unfair to smaller flats. By 2018 we had legal advice this was wrong and since then the proportions have been applied.
thank you. If the current lease contains a specific provision in relation to liability, then it would not be open to the " landlord" to unilaterally vary that provision whether or not the leases are extended. In order to vary the lease terms such as the above, the landlord would need to obtain the agreement from each and every leaseholder and whilst they may be able to do this in relation to some leaseholders, in respect of any leaseholder which is disadvantaged by the proposed alteration, it is unlikely that they would secure agreement from those particularly solders such as yourself for example.

As such, I cannot see any scope for the lease provisions to be changed other than as above

I hope the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi Joshua, many thanks for your help so far, sorry about the delay, I have been doing other urgent things. I am still wondering why they need to do new leases for a simple extension, including a ‘master lease’ which would be something new for us and also, if I end up being the only owner who thinks a new lease disadvantages me ( due to inertia etc of the others) if they can override me as the lone eccentric objector and if so how would they override me, would they have to go to court?

without understanding the current structure, it may be difficult for me to second-guess the advice that has been provided to the residents in this regard. however, as you have already been granted an existing lease, you cannot be forced to surrender or derogate from rights that you have already been granted and as such, you cannot be overridden by a majority in this respect

I trust the above was of assistance and that you do not have any follow up questions for now. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Nothing more for the moment Joshua, but I’ll come back in future if necessary. Many thanks for your guidance. Rod

I'm glad the above answers all your questions for now. If you have any follow up questions please revert to me.

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