Cladding and its impact on Enfranchisement

Aerial view new apartment from istanbul

On Thursday I’ll be attending the Spring conference of the Association of Leasehold and Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) as one of the panellists, writes Clive Scrivener. 

As ever ALEP seeks to provide its members with relevant, topical content and to tackle points arising at the forefront of enfranchisement. Membership of this professional association is a badge of assurance to leaseholders and freeholders that they can be sure of a consistently high level of service, integrity and professionalism. 

The Association is non-political and acts in an independent capacity to ensure the quality and integrity of its membership in pursuit of best practice in all matters concerning leasehold. Its membership encompasses business that work with both freeholders and leaseholders, with the common aim of providing expert advice and support to their clients. 

The ALEP Spring Lecture is an event for legal and valuation practitioners working in the enfranchisement sector and is open to members and non-members. 

The tragic events at the Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017 put the question of building safety and cladding at the top of the leasehold agenda. 

Leaseholders affected by this issue are experiencing “unimaginable anxiety” over the uncertainty as to who will pay for the necessary remedial works. Freeholders face uncertainty over liabilities and service charge budgets. 

The EWS1 form has dominated the conveyancing world and many flat owners are unable to sell or remortgage until any uncertainty concerning the exact type of cladding at their block has been resolved. 

There are many blocks that wish to address the question of whether to buy their freehold in such a situation; either by collective enfranchisement, or by responding to a Section 5 Notice. This may either be as a response to the issues of repair and service charges that cladding raises, or for other reasons such as lease terms and ground rent. 

Leasehold enfranchisement includes the processes of lease extension, freehold acquisition and correction of management problems within leasehold properties. ALEP exists to ensure that practitioners involved in this sector adhere to an agreed level of conduct and service. 

Flat owners seeking a lease extension should instruct a surveyor to produce a valuation of the premium for the lease extension. Your solicitor will then serve a formal Section 42 notice of claim on the freeholder[s], which will start the legal process to acquire a lease extension. Freeholders served with this notice must respond with a formal counter notice within two months of the date of the original notice. 

Once a Section 42 notice is served, the flat owner is liable for the freeholder’s reasonable costs from the date he received the notice. 

Scrivener Tibbatts regularly conducts negotiations and assists with valuations of premium for both flat owners and freeholders in regard to lease extension, dispute resolution, and representation at a First-Tier Tribunal should this be necessary. 

I’m looking forward to the discussions next week.  

If you would like to discuss something related to a valuation here in Wimbledon please contact Clive via email at or call 020 8947 7040.