If you have owned your property for at least two years, you have rights to extend your lease.

You can extend your lease for an additional term of 90 years, and the rent is reduced to a peppercorn – this means you no longer pay any ground rent. You do need to pay a premium, which is calculated by a surveyor taking into account the value of the property, length of the current lease and the current ground rent. You don’t need to live in the property to be able to extend the lease.

In order to save you costs, we advise that before initiating the legal procedure to force your landlord to grant a lease extension, you contact your landlord on an informal basis to see whether they are prepared to extend the lease, and if so whether you can agree to terms.

We can then help you with the conveyancing process – dealing with the paperwork including reviewing the new lease, obtaining the permission of your lender, dealing with completion formalities and registration of the new lease.

If you are looking at extending your freehold lease, read on to find out more about the Formal Lease Extension Process, or please do not hesitate to get in touch for more information.

Every lease contains several covenants (effectively, enforceable promises) by leaseholders in respect of how they will and will not treat the property. These usually contain prohibitions or restrictions on actions such as:

  • altering the property
  • sub-letting or assigning it
  • keeping pets
  • making noise or causing a nuisance etc.

With the goal of protecting the freehold interest and the neighbouring properties.

Unfortunately, leaseholders aren’t always advised of their obligations or simply ignore them, and you could be faced with a situation where one of your leaseholders is breaching their lease to your detriment and you need to take immediate action. It might also be the case that the lease contains provision for you to take action against one leaseholder, at the request of another (usually subject to the complainant leaseholder paying your costs).

As a landlord, you have a number of options available to you:


Subject to there being a right to do so within the lease, you might be entitled to forfeit the lease (essentially, take the property back). As this could mean a leaseholder losing their investment or home and you achieving a windfall, the courts are naturally quite reluctant to grant it and there are some statutory controls. For example, for a breach of covenant other than to pay rent, you will need the leaseholder to either, a) admit the breach or, b) have it determined by a court or tribunal, before you can serve a “Notice Before Forfeiture” (Notice pursuant to s.146 of the Law of Property Act 2016).

Often you will need a Tribunal or Court to order forfeiture. We can assist you with this and ensure you follow the procedure required. Firstly, you need to prepare a document called a “Notice”. This requires a leaseholder to remedy the breach if it is capable of being remedied. If they do not do so, you can then proceed to apply to Court for possession based on forfeiture. At that stage, the leaseholder might apply for relief from forfeiture which a Court would usually grant subject to certain conditions such as remedying the breach and paying your costs.

It is important that, if your leaseholder is in breach, you do not take any action to recognise the continuing existence of the lease (e.g.by undertaking any acts consistent with it such as demanding rent). You must treat the lease as having ended otherwise the right to forfeit will be waived / lost.


If the right to forfeit has been waived, or if it is the Management Company who are seeking to take action against a breach (who do not have a right to forfeit leases), another common method of enforcement is by applying to court for an injunction. The courts can grant an order forcing the leaseholder to do something or ordering them to stop doing something. This is commonly used for parking breaches or breaches of nuisance clauses but can apply to most breaches.

“Acceptable” Breaches

If your leaseholder has breached their lease (e.g., by altering the property without your consent), it might be that the breach is beneficial to you, or you consider it a justifiable breach. In these cases, you can enter into a retrospective licence or give your consent.

Each case will need to be taken on its own facts and we will be able to offer bespoke advice and guide you through the various options dependent on what your objectives are. Please contact us to discuss any specific cases and we will be happy to assist.

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It can be incredibly frustrating when people owe you money for goods or services but just will not pay. There are a number of ways we can assist. Bolt Burdon’s dispute resolution team will always take detailed instructions, thoroughly review the papers and apply tactics appropriate for your individual case. Sometimes, the case can be resolved by sending strong correspondence setting out details of your claim or by arranging a meeting with the other side. In other cases, a different approach may be needed.

If the debt is not disputed, we may suggest serving a statutory demand on the individual or company. This warns the debtor that unless they pay the sum owing within 21 days, you will petition for their bankruptcy or issue winding up proceedings against the company. The threat of this often has the effect of making the debtor pay.

Alternatively, claims for money can be issued in the county court and once a judgment has been obtained (whether it is because the debtor ignored the proceedings or you were successful at a hearing), there are a number of ways that we can enforce this on your behalf.

Attachment of Earnings Orders

We can apply for an attachment of earnings order, which is a court order entitling you to money from the debtor’s wages on a monthly basis. This money is paid to you by their employer directly. The debtor is le with enough money to live on each month and the rest is paid to you until the debt is satisfied.

Third Party Debt Orders

If the debtor is owed money by a third party, we can apply to court for a third-party debt order requesting that this money be paid directly to you. Most commonly, these orders are sent to banks or building societies where the debtor has accounts. The debtor is temporarily prevented from accessing their money and if there is enough money in the account, your debt is paid from these funds in full.

Seizure of goods – Bailiffs / High Court Enforcement Officers

Bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers are authorised to collect debts on behalf of a creditor, and they do this by removing and selling a debtor’s possessions from their home or business premises until enough has been raised to repay the debt. We can take care of the necessary paperwork and instruct the relevant officers to seize possessions on your behalf.

Charging Orders

If the debtor owns a property, we can apply for a court order placing a charge over this asset. The amount of the charge will be the sum you are owed. You may not recover your money immediately with this approach (unless we apply for an order for the sale of the property) but it will safeguard your money for the future.

If the debtor owns stocks or shares, we can apply for a charge on these in much the same way as on property.

Bankruptcy / Winding up Petitions

A bankruptcy or winding up petition can be presented where you have a judgment against a debtor or, as mentioned above, you are owed a debt that is not disputed, and a statutory demand has been served.

Where the debtor is an individual, the appropriate procedure is bankruptcy proceedings and where the debtor is a company, we would proceed by way of a winding up petition.

We also act for individuals seeking to contest bankruptcy petitions or annul bankruptcy orders made against them personally and companies challenging winding up petitions.

Order to Obtain Information

If you do not know enough detail about the assets of the debtor, we can apply for an order that they attend court for questioning.

They will be questioned on oath about their income, details of any property owned (including cars) and how much they have in any bank or building society accounts.

This helps you to find out which of the available enforcement methods are most likely to get you your money (and more than one of the above options can be taken at any time).


We offer a full range of funding options in respect of claims for money.

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We offer a full range of employment services to clients that range from small businesses started by innovators and entrepreneurs to large national and international companies.

In the ever-changing world of employment law we will work with you to provide commercially focused, sector specific advice that helps you navigate the HR minefield of matters critical to your business.

We provide a partner led, personal service, giving clear, precise, tailor-made options and advice that will give you the confidence to deal with the challenges you face.

Our expert team of employment lawyers advise clients across a broad range of sectors on HR issues, including:

  • People matters – employee relations, managing absences, discrimination, diversity and equality issues, disciplinary action, investigations, grievances, flexible working requests, secondment agreements, overseas workers, and managed exits.
  • Contentious matters – Employment Tribunal and High Court employment litigation, multi-action claims, mediations, and boardroom disputes
  • Investment matters – talent retention, bonus schemes, employee benefits and bespoke training.
  • Strategic matters – planning and managing organisational change, workforce reduction, collective redundancies, TUPE transfers and trade union/works council issues.
  • Risk matters – employee status queries, whistle-blowing complaints, confidentiality, IP protection and restrictive covenant matters.
  • Compliance matters – achieving and maintaining GDPR compliance for HR documents, systems and processes; managing data subject access requests; Gender Pay Gap reporting; and Modern Slavery Act compliance.

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