Are Freeholders Fair, or are they Bullies?

Flat owners, who own flats controlled by large, publicly quoted companies, may find that to obtain their right to demand an extension to their lease of 90 years and have all ground rents reduced to “nil” can be a frightening, expensive and thoroughly unpleasant process.

In a recent case involving two flats at Wimbledon Close, The Downs, London SW20, the notices of claim for lease extension sought premium values in the region of £33,000 for each flat.  Freshwater plc sought £65,000 in each case in the counter notices; in their claim in the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) this was reduced to £45,000 for each flat.

The applications/claims were heard in the LVT on 17 May 2011 and the majority of the core issues put forward by the two flat owners, represented by Mike Tibbatts, were accepted by the Tribunal.  Premium values in respect of each flat were fixed at £35,373 and £35,553.

The full transcript of the Residential Property Tribunal Service (London Rent Assessment Panel) can be found at reference MR LON/00BA/OLR/2011/0004 and 0005.

If a freeholder and/or his appointed valuer refuse to negotiate sensibly and generally use the 1993 Act in such a way that flat owners need to incur additional costs in supporting perfectly reasoned and correct arguments, flat owners can win!


Join up with other flat owners within your block and make collective applications for lease extensions at one time – alternatively, demand the right to buy your Freehold.

For more information and assistance, call Mike Tibbatts on 020 8947 7040.