“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.

Yet:

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.

 

 

Government’s intention to simplify leasehold reform process

I have written a number of blogs on this much awaited topic.

Not surprisingly there has been a lot of discussion behind the scenes particularly in the landlords’ camps where my mole has hinted that if marriage value is abolished, deferment rate may be set at circa 3.5% on any claims in PCL as a quid pro quo.

Although this would perversely be more punitive the longer the unexpired lease, this is understandable as a possible solution to this much vexed issue despite government announcing it wants to make the whole process quicker and cheaper.

We await to see if the proposed bill will be in the Queen’s Speech next month and then of course what it finally legislated.

Watch this space.

 

Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 receives Royal Assent

I wrote about the government’s intention to bring about this somewhat low key piece of legislation in my blog last May. It has now received Royal Assent.

In last month’s blog I raised the question whether the government will ever get round to implementing its much promised major reforms proposed by the Law Commission. As much as government is seeking further consultation on part of the wider reforms proposed back in January 21, there clearly has not been a full response to the overall reforms proposed let alone a timetable.

We wait to see if the much heralded wider reforms will ever become law before the next General Election!