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HowdoIextend mylease?

Iliveinahouse divided into four flats, and we allhaveashare of the freehold. There are 40 years left on the lease. Howdo I go about gettingalease extension andwhat will it cost? I bought the flat three

years ago for £1.3m. Nameandaddresswithheld

KatieCohen,aleasehold enfranchisement specialistwithChild& Child, responds:

“Yoursituation is not uncommonwhen youpurchase aflat that hasashare of freehold andthe leasehas notbeenextended afteryour fellow leaseholders completed thepurchase. Theprocess by whichleaseholderspurchase thefreeholdiscollective enfranchisement.Inreturnfor thepayment of apremiumfor thefreehold, theleaseholders areentitledtoextend their leases post completionto999 yearsatapeppercornrental. Youneedtoascertain fromthe leaseholders when thefreehold wasacquired. If therehas beenalonglapseoftimesince thepurchaseofthe freehold, any proposedextension of theleasesto999 yearsmay have taximplications and specialist taxadvice should be sought.Iftherehas beena shortlapseoftimesince the freehold wasacquired, there will be no premiumpayable for extendingthe currentleases to 999 years. Thegroundrent payableunder your existing leases will cease.Many leases can be extendedby wayofaDeedofaSurrender andRegrant whichworks in thesameway asaDeed of Variationand formalises theextension of thecurrent term of thelease,reducesthe ground rent to apeppercorn sumandmodifiesany existing leasetermsso that they are compliant andmodern.Many solicitors will be able to apply economiesofscale when quoting forthistypeofwork if theleaseholderscollectively

32 Have you been

asked about fire risk by a prospective buyer?

DoweneeD a fire riskassessment?

As Secretary for theManagement Company of a block of six purpose builtflats, Ihavereceivedaquestion frombuyers of aflat herewhichsays: “Please supply aFireRiskAssessment policy, as you are aware this is a legal requirement”.Wehave not been asked this before, although we have only participated in the selling of one other flat, andthisdid notcomeup. Canyou help?


Flat Living responds It is a requirement for allemployers and/or buildingowners to: nCarryout afire risk assessment of the propertytakingintoconsideration all employees, residentsand allother people who maybeaffected by afire at thepropertyand tomake adequate provision forany disabled people with specialneeds whouse ormaybe present in the property; nIdentify thesignificant findingsofthe risk assessment andthe details of anyone whomight be especially at risk in case of fire.

seektoextend theirleasesto 999 years. Further,itshould be stated that theconsent of your lender will be required andthisisformalisedbyway ofaDeedofaSubstitution. Some lendersdocharge an administrative feefor providing their consent.”

If more than five people are employed it is a requirementthatthese significant findings are recorded; (However it is recommended that a written record is produced on all occasionstoassistwiththe processofon going reviews); nProvideandmaintain such fire precautions as arenecessarytosafeguard employeesand residents; and nProvide information, instruction and training to employeesand residentsaboutthe fire precautions at the property. The assessment should be completed by a

competent person Thecompetent person or fire risk assessor

need not possess any specific academic qualifications but should: nunderstand how therelevant fire safety legislation applies to the property; nhave appropriateknowledgeand experience in the principles of fire safety; nhave an understanding of fire development and the behaviour of people in fire; nunderstand thefire hazards, fire risksand relevant factorsassociatedwithoccupantsat special risk within the property.

Parking and thenew ticketing companies

Accesstoour estateis via a private drive down to our car park from

off apublicroad. It is a narrow accessand one carparkedinthe wrong place would completely prevent access by emergency vehicles.We have a large ‘Private Road’ notice at the entrance to our estate but we

Flat Living

Ifyouhaveaquestionorwouldliketosharewithotherreadersyourideasorexperiencesof livinginaleaseholdblock,wewant tohearfromyou.

Addressyourcommentsorqueriesto theFlat Living teamat

oftenget illegalvehicles parked in theaccessdrive andonthe pavements. Ticketingseemsto be a good alternativetothe nowoutlawed recourse to clamping. I read the letter from

Susan Kaye in theWinter issue of Flat Living regarding the Clamping Banand herreference to ticketingcompanies. That ledmeontothe ARMALessee Advisory Note 25 on parkingissues (see pages 36-37 of this issue)which alsomade referencetoticketing.I then went on to research thecompanies dealing with thismatter and cameup withwww. issueparkingcharges. andwww. Howeverreading

the content of these websites raised anumber of questions about the practicalities of achieving a definitive photograph of an offending vehicle onwhat is private land.Without notices displayed everywhere – and this, in our case, is difficult due to a lack of walls – it would be difficult to indicate by photograph that the vehiclewas offending if it did not have a notice right beside it. Should one paint special continuous markings on the road perhapstoovercome this?Inaddition, posting innumerable ‘No Parking’ notices wouldmake for a very aesthetically unpleasant environment in a residential property. I suggest that ARMA,

Flat Living andthe FPRA gather thenames of recommendedticketing companiesalong with guidance on the practicalities andguidance notesfrom theirmany members/subscribers andpublish theresults somewhere for the benefit of others.

TerryDennis Companysecretary Issue 16 Flat Living

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