When you buy a leasehold property, you have the right to live in that property for however many years remain on its lease. It is always advisable to have a minimum of 80 years remaining – if yours is lower, it could be in your best interests to investigate a lease extension.
Leasehold houses in the UK can run as long as 999 years – or perhaps even longer. But as far as flats or apartments are concerned, a typical lease can last between 99 and 125 years.
If you have less than 80 years remaining on your lease, this could pose the following problems:
- Complications when you come to sell the property, as potential buyers are likely to be put off.
- Complications when it comes to mortgaging/re-mortgaging the property.
- The property is likely to fall in value as the lease grows shorter.
Fortunately, leaseholders in the UK have rights enshrined in English law, and we can to assist you in:
- Purchasing the freehold interest, or:
- Negotiating a lease extension with your landlord.
Regardless of your situation, a number of criteria will need to be met before a purchase or lease extension can be granted, relating to both the leaseholder and the property itself.
Fortunately, our team can guide you through the process step-by-step, ensure you are fully aware of your rights, and assist in any necessary negotiations with your landlord.
- Lease extensions and buying the freehold of flats under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993
- Lease extensions and buying the freehold of houses under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967
- Right of first refusal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
- Right to Manage Companies under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
Meet the team
Lisa Ginesi is a partner in our commercial litigation and dispute resolution team. Her practice covers a wide range of commercial disputes and predominantly relates to all forms of property disputes. The clients Lisa acts for range from large corporate property developers and investors to private property owning individuals.
Lisa regularly advises on a wide variety of issues affecting both residential and commercial properties and an extensive range of contractual disputes. Lisa has particular expertise in landlord and tenant disputes, the 1954 Act, dilapidation issues, nuisance claims; boundary disputes, possession claims, construction and development contracts, party wall disputes, trespasser proceedings and all aspects of enfranchisement.
In every case, Lisa actively looks for ways to reach practical and cost-effective solutions, whether that is through negotiation, court proceedings, self-help remedies or alternative dispute resolution. She works with her clients as part of a team, often alongside surveyors, engineers and a variety of other experts.
Recent Transactions include;
- Successfully appealing against two Party Wall Awards and securing costs for our client in a case relating to a substantial development in Shoreditch.
- Acting for a corporate property developer in a dispute to enforce the terms of a sale and construction agreement, to enable our client to complete their development and sell a number of flats.
- Acting for a sole trader tenant, of a commercial shop in Great Russell Street in a claim against his landlord for unreasonably delaying and withholding consent to an assignment of his lease.
- Acting for a residential property developer who intended to carry out underpinning works and was served with an injunction obtained by the Council to stop works for alleged breach of planning regulations and starting excavation for basement works.
- Advising on a complex lease renewal of commercial premises under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, involving; disputed terms for a new lease; unauthorised sub-lettings and breach of planning legislation.
- Advising a client who owns the freehold of a large residential block of flats in London in relation to a number of applications to extend leases under the 1993 Act, including dealing with applications to the First Tier Tribunal. Conversely, advising a number of tenants, in a different block of flats, on their rights to extend their leases.
- Advising on a range of enfranchisement issues, including lease extensions and purchases of freeholds under the 1993 and 1967 Acts, and rights of first refusal under the 1987 Act.
- Acting in a number of contractual property disputes including; disputed joint venture agreements; breaches and termination of JCT contracts; claims against insurers for losses and claims for unpaid fees and defective works.
Early in her career, Lisa had the privilege of being part of the team which took a highly technical lease renewal case to the House to Lords (P&O v Graysim).
Some notable and reported cases include;
- Sai Ventures Ltd v Compar Properties Ltd  – an appeal against two Party Wall Awards in a case relating to a substantial development in Shoreditch.
- H Waites Ltd v Hambledon court Ltd and others  – landlord and tenant dispute concerning air space and extent of the tenants’ demise.
- Anslow and others v Norton Aluminium Ltd  – a GLO claim for multi million pound damages in nuisance, claimed to be caused by smell, noise and dust.
- Delgable Ltd v Perinpanathan  – landlord and tenant dispute concerning the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 Act and liability to repair roof.
- P&O Property Holdings Limited v Graysim  – dispute on the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. This was a Supreme Court decision.
Lisa was educated at Haydon Bridge High School in Northumberland and then studied law at the University of West London. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992, having trained and qualified at Carter Lemon Camerons. Lisa is a member of the Property Litigation Association, Women in Business, Women in Property, the Association of Women Solicitors and the Law Society.
Rufus Ballaster specialises in secured lending for both lenders and borrowers, within Carter Lemon Camerons LLP’s commercial property team.
Rufus’ team is able to assist lenders with putting in place effective protection for their loans, including advising on the form of security that is needed, arranging reporting systems between lawyer and lender, preparing documents, raising enquiries, examining title and making the appropriate searches.
Rufus is also experienced in assisting borrowers, advising on the risks involved in the transaction and negotiating the best possible terms.
Where appropriate, having carefully looked at professional rules governing conflict of interest, Rufus can act for both the lender and the borrower in a single transaction.
His detailed technical legal knowledge and ability to crunch numbers are great assets both transactionally and as Carter Lemon Camerons LLP’s spreadsheet obsessive.
Recent transactions include:
- Secured Lending Portfolio Refinance for a group of clients shifting lending from one international Private Bank to another international Private Bank with full Certification of Title across 7 Central London Properties both commercial residential (or mixed) use – aggregate value £30M approx.
- Phased purchase with development finance of site for over 40 new homes in SW London for a group of clients which has also bought and sold many other units in the region with Rufus and his team acting.
- Short term (2 to 18 month) lending by a Wealth Management company into a variety of development projects taking first or second charge security over those sites or collateral security elsewhere.
Career highlights include:
- Stepping into the panel of speakers at a course for which he was understudy – at only 3 years qualified
- Representing most of the sets of barristers’ chambers at one of the Inns of Court in lease renewals with that Inn
- Drawing down finance to purchase a SW1 development opportunity (offices to flats) by an off shore company at a price exceeding £120M (for a group of clients for whom previous deals were at values ranging from £7M to £220M)
- Drawing down finance to purchase a group of off-shore vehicles which owned of a City office block let to a blue chip investment bank – loan exceeding £300 million, split into senior and junior debt.
Rufus combines client focused views of legal issues with more holistic ones. This is clearly visible from his writing (having contributed to many journals and been a co-author of the Landlord and Tenant Factbook and more recently of a Practical Guide to Drone Law) and from his lectures and seminars on banking, commercial property, artificial intelligence and other topics.
Asked what he likes most in his work, Rufus will talk of his role as a “trouble-shooter”. He enjoys being asked by clients and colleagues what he thinks about something and trying, with them, to work up structures or strategies achieving a desired result at the lowest sensible cost/ tax-hit/ risk. He travels within Europe and beyond (Arabian Gulf, South East Asia, Southern Africa) to see clients and contacts face to face and says working with people he has met is always preferable to hiding behind email and telephone for client contact!
Rufus was educated at Reading School, Wadham College Oxford and Chester College of Law, qualifying as a solicitor in 1988.
Outside the office Rufus has a full and active life with commitments to two Christian Churches, family (wife and three now adult children), RBS Rugby Football Club (for whom he plays as a second row forward) and RBS Lawn Bowls Club which is more suited to his age.