3 August 2018 by Leah Veasey

Tenants’ Tales: Miss Browne Extends Her Lease – Part 1

A series of blogs following the lives of fictitious characters designed to help explain the legal aspects of leasehold living in a fun yet educational way.

Tenant's Tale

When we last checked in with Miss Browne, she was about to buy her first flat.  Her solicitor had explained to her that she was buying a lease with a term of 81 years, and that she should consider extending her lease as part of her purchase.  The idea of extending her lease completely confounded Miss Browne – what did they mean?  Did they mean she could stretch her lease out, or did they mean she could build an extension on her flat?  She just didn’t get it.

 

Not getting it wasn’t a feeling that Miss Browne, as a teacher, was particularly fond of.  She was far too used to being the person with all the answers.  So, on the way back to her shared house on the tube, she asked Siri: “How do I extend my lease?”  Now she was even more confused!  She decided to head back to the solicitors the next day to ask some questions.

Miss Browne’s solicitor explained that she recommend extending her lease as part of the purchase for two main reasons.  Firstly, with 81 years left to run, her lease was just long enough to avoid ‘marriage value’ pushing up the price of the lease extension.  Secondly, a statutory lease extension can only be applied for if you have owned the flat for at least two years; if she waited until then, her lease would be below 80 years.

She went on to say that to get around the two year ownership requirement, the current owner of the flat should be asked to begin the lease extension process himself, and ‘assign the rights’ given under the process to a purchaser i.e. Miss Browne.   She said that she would then prepare a “Claim Notice” and a “Deed of Assignment”, and explained that the Claim Notice would need to be served before completion, usually around the same time as exchange of contracts, and the Deed of Assignment would need to be completed at the same time that the purchase completed.  She explained that the Deed of Assignment would transfer the Claim Notice over to Miss Browne, without her needing to wait 2 years to serve it.  “It all sounds rather complicated to me,” said Miss Browne.  “Don’t worry, I do this all the time!” said her solicitor.

Fast forward to completion day – Miss Browne receives a phone call from her solicitor, she can go and collect the keys when she is ready, the Claim Notice has been served and the Deed of Assignment has been dated.  She is now the proud owner of her shiny new flat, with a lease extension under way.  Her solicitors explains that it’s now a bit of a waiting game until she receives a Counter Notice from the Landlord, and that she’ll be handed over to the capable hands of her colleague in the Enfranchisement Team.  Miss Browne has no idea what enfranchisement means and still had no idea what a marriage value was, but right now, the only thing she can think about is cursing the ridiculously long lead times of a well known furniture retailer– who wants to wait 6 weeks after moving in for their new sofa to arrive?!

When we next hear about Miss Browne,  we will find out what ‘enfranchisement’ means  and whether she finally understands what “extending a lease” is!

 

 

1 August 2018 by Leah Veasey

Tenants’ Tales: What to do with Mrs Funnell? A Lease Review Tale

A series of blogs following the lives of fictitious characters designed to help explain the legal aspects of  leasehold living […]

2 August 2018 by Leah Veasey

Tenants’ Tales: Mr Anderson’s CCJ

A series of blogs following the lives of fictitious characters designed to help explain the legal aspects of leasehold living […]

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