Leaseholder has the right to seek an extension of his lease. This right is spelt out in The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. A landlord has very few grounds for denying lease extensions. Extension of the lease actually means getting a new lease. The terms of the new lease may be different once you are done extending the lease on flat. You may pay, more, live longer or generally have an entirely different arrangement with your freeholder.
Not any occupant of a flat can seek an extension of a lease. The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 clearly defines who a leaseholder who has the right to extend a lease is. First, the flat has to be a larger part of property. It must lie above or below another material part of the property. The property must be solely constructed to or adapted for human occupation and not any other activities. The occupant must have been registered as the leaseholder for at least two years. Failure to meet all these criteria negates any possibility for a lease extension.
Lease extension may be formal or informal. Either way, you have to notify the landlord before extending the lease. Informal extension involves paying no regard to the laws guiding lease extensions. The leaseholder makes an agreement with the tenant without notifying any other authority. This form of extension is subject to conflict since any one of the parties can breach the agreement. A violation of informal agreement cannot be easily resolved in court. Informal arrangements are only useful when the parties involved absolutely trust each other. Many people tend to avoid this kind of lease extension.
The proper and most preferable type of lease extension is the formal extension. Here, the leaseholder serves the freeholder with a notice for an extension. He can serve the notice anytime during the current fixed time. The extension notice notifies the freeholder that the leaseholder wants to extend the lease. The law provides that the freeholder must accept the leaseholder’s desire to prolong the lease.
The notice is served to the landlord, also known as the freeholder. Most leaseholders never communicate directly with their landlords. In this case, they can send the notice to the landlord’s agent, which can be a real estate agent or a Management Company. The notice sent to the landlord’s agent notifies them to send the leaseholder the contact information of the landlord. This is because, eventually, the landlord is the one to be served the notice for a lease extension. Alternatively, you can find out the owner’s contact information from the Land Registry.
The freeholder must send a counter-notice to the leaseholder within two months. The leaseholder is allowed to seek a court order if the landlord fails to respond within two months. The court order forces the landlord to enter into negotiation for fee extension with the leaseholder.