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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10779
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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URGENT: increasing the years on the leasehold. Hi, Im one

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URGENT: increasing the years on the leasehold.

Hi, I'm one of the director in a Ltd company that holds the freehold for our building. One of the flat requests to increase the years on its leasehold. I'm unfamiliar with the process and legal requirements for this. Can you tell me:

(1) can the owner of the flat communicate directly with me for their request or does it need to be done through a lawyer?

(2) I have never met the owner, but I have met his representative, who have consistently refuse to provide me proof that he's the owner's legit rep. In order to make sure it's a legit request, do I need to ask the owner's representative and his lawyer to provide proof in the form of owner agreement or power of attorney for them to act on the owner's behalf, and do I request proof of ID for the owner, ie copy of owner's passport?

(3) what's the timescale for this process and what does it entail please?

Many thanks in advance for your assistance. Best regards Terresa
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

I am Al and am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

The law relating to Lease extensions, which the Tenant is asking for, is that provided he has owned the Flat for 2 years, he is entitled to a Lease extension of an additional 90 years at a peppercorn rent (ie zero).

Normally, the Tenant would approach the Freeholder directly to enquire as to the cost of such a Lease extension. You are therefore under no obligation to correspond with his "representative". As the cost of the Lease extension is something for a specialist Surveyor to calculate, it would however be normal for the Tenant's Surveyor to liaise with the Freeholder's Surveyor if a figure is not readily agreed between the parties.

Under law, this process can be agreed informally between the parties. Alternatively, if the Freeholder is not prepared to deal with the Tenant's request on an informal basis, he can insist that the Tenant serves an official Notice on him requesting a Lease extension, under the Landlord and Tenant Act.
Full details on this link which you will find helpful-

Once a price has been agreed (you will need to instruct a Surveyor to calculate how much the Lease extension should be), you will need to instruct your own Solicitor to prepare the Lease extension document. Under law, you are entitled to ask the Tenant to pay your reasonable legal and Surveyor's fees in the matter. The process between instructing a Solicitor and completing the Lease extension would generally be approximately 6 weeks.

To sum up, I suggest that you inform the Tenant's rep that you are not prepared to correspond with him further, and that the Tenant himself needs to contact you with a request for a Lease extension. It is then up to you whether to decide on an informal basis or whether you insist on the Tenant serving a formal Notice requesting the Lease extension.

In this day and age, it is normal for correspondence to be by email. If the Tenant corresponds with you, there is no harm in you doing this by email. As and when matters are agreed, he will need to instruct his own Solicitor to liaise with your Solicitor, and hence there will be little danger in you being duped by the "Tenant".

I hope this gives you a good overview, and answers your question.

Kind Regards
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