Shingles instructed to advise on a most unusual building

It was an especial privilege to be instructed to advise on the range of premium payable to extend the lease of a most unusual building in the heart of Belgravia.

Although now a residential flat arranged over 4 floors, the property is reported to have been a former grain store used by the livery stable of the Duke of Wellington in the 19th Century.

What is really unusual is the massive 15 ft ceiling height  with 10ft high windows to the ground floor reception room – a truly cathedral feel to the space.



Shingles negotiates 51% discount off landlord’s quoting price

A client wanted to acquire a small area of common parts to rationalise the entrance area of his flat in addition to carrying out other internal changes.

The discount negotiated for the extra space to be acquired amounted to 35% net.

However this increases to 51% effective when the space of the existing boundary wall is removed and incorporated into the flat.


“The rascals we were up against made it so tricky”

It is very pleasing to receive from a client an email thanking me for sorting everything out shortly after completion of his extended lease last week despite prefacing his gratitude with the above statement.


Why would the landlord’s valuer refuse to negotiate beyond the point when it was too late to avoid much additional cost in preparing for a tribunal hearing?

to then find:

As preparation had already been made, counsel instructed etc. the landlord’s valuer would likewise prepare and not try and negotiate even though offers had been made to.

to then find:

Once the tribunal had determined the premium payable, the landlord and its solicitors found every excuse to delay to try and bring about a deemed withdrawal thus incurring added legal costs in applying to court for a vesting order despite being ready to complete.

The moral of this story is to ensure the best advisers are instructed to ensure the client is protected at all times at every step.

It is though sad that in the case of this landlord, the only message one can give future clients is to warn them at the outset that the route ahead will be litigious and more expensive than would otherwise be the case if negotiations could begin (as Parliament intended) to reach settlement of the premium well in time of having to prepare for a hearing; and once settled, agreement of the new lease terms could proceed swiftly afterwards as the majority of claims on other estates indeed do.


Westminster Legal Policy Forum

An important conference was held last week on implementing the proposed changes to the legislation, its impact on the enfranchisement calculations and further options for reform.

I will be updating my blog shortly with the key note points raised with particular emphasis on the valuation issues discussed.

Watch this space.

UPDATE on Government’s intention to simplify the leasehold reform process

In my post last month, I referred to awaiting to see if the proposed Leasehold Reform Bill would be in the Queen’s Speech this month.

There was a complete absence of any referral to a the bill being introduced and so it seems to suggest there is no likelihood of any form of prescription of capitalisation and deferment rates and whether indeed marriage value will be removed from the calculations in the foreseeable future.

So valuers will be left to their own devices as to what rates and relativity to adopt moving forward.

Hey ho.