What is a lease?
A lease is contractual agreement between two parties with regards to an item of property. They are most commonly used for property in the United Kingdom (UK) under the term residential lease. If you are currently living in a non-freehold or non-rental flat odds are you signed one prior to moving in. The time period on a residential lease usually falls somewhere between 99 and 125 years, which in general seems like a long time. However, if it is allowed to run-out with a notice of extension being served then all interest in the flat reverts back to the freeholder. This means that not only can you lose your home, but any money you have invested in it as well.
Freehold and Leasehold
If someone owns a freehold over a property it will mean that they are owner of said property or the land that it was constructed on top of. As owner a freeholder is in control of the property outside of the lease, meaning that they can carry out construction and renovations as they so please as long as they have council permission to do so.
The leaseholder will have a long-term tenancy agreement with the freeholder, which would have been agreed upon and subsequently signed prior to moving into the property. When such an agreement is in place the leaseholder will have the right to live in the property uninterrupted. A leasehold agreement doesn’t equal ownership of the property, meaning that you won’t be able to make any physical alterations to the property itself. It is also only an agreement, meaning that it will eventually expire, if you wish to extend the length of the agreement you will need to serve a notice of extension. Almost every leasehold agreement will be based upon financial remunera...
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...ten council owned offices) to both parties involved.
Is it mandatory for a leaseholder to attend a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT)?
It isn’t considered mandatory but your case may be damaged if you choose not to attend. At minimum if you choose not to attend you should send someone (preferably a solicitor) to represent you in your place.
Is it mandatory for a leaseholder to have legal representation at a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT)?
It isn’t mandatory but if your cases comes with a multitude of issues or is complex in nature it may be best to do so.
How long is the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) process?
It is always case dependent, but those involved can expect the process to take anywhere up to six weeks between first hearing and final outcome. In some rare cases the decision may even be issued immediately following the conclusion of a hearing.
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