FAQ: I’ve Received a Section 42 Notice, What Does This Mean?
Understanding landlord and tenant law can be difficult when you’re unfamiliar with the legislation, which is why we encourage those seeking advice to ask our solicitors questions. Here is a query we recently received about a section 42 notice for lease extension:
I am the landlord of some leasehold flats and I have received a Section 42 Notice from one of the leaseholders. What does this mean and what do I need to do next?
A Section 42 Notice is the start of the formal procedure for a leaseholder to extend the term of their lease. This likely means that there is less than 90 years left on the lease and the owner is seeking to prevent ownership being reverted.
This may sound like a long lease; however, should the homeowner decide to sell the property, a short lease will mean the property is less valuable. They may also find that it is harder to get a mortgage on the property and therefore it is harder to sell.
If your leaseholder sent you a section 42 lease extension request, it is strongly recommended that you instruct a solicitor upon receipt of this, as certain statutory time limits will apply following service of the notice.
The notice will include a date by which you need to respond with your counter-notice. This date will be within two months of the date the notice is served, so you must quickly decide how you wish to respond.
At any time following receipt of the notice, you are also entitled to request a 10% deposit from the leaseholder. This sum will be based upon the premium stated in the section 42 Notice or £250, whichever is the greater sum.
Your solicitor will prepare your counter-notice. If you miss the date specified within the Section 42 Notice, the leaseholder may apply to the court to request that the new lease is granted by your default to serve a counter-notice.
What Should a Counter-Notice Include?
In your counter-notice, you can either accept the leaseholder’s terms or propose new terms. The most common point of disagreement is regarding the value of the premium payable for the new lease. If this is the case, there is a statutory period for negotiation of at least two months and no more than 6 months. During this time, it would be advisable to speak with both your solicitor and surveyor who will advise you on how to respond.
After the initial two months, either party can apply to the leasehold valuation tribunal to independently determine the issue. If the tribunal make a decision, this is deemed final and your solicitor will need to provide the draft lease within 14 days.
Employ the Services of a Qualified Solicitor
If you have been presented with a section 42 notice for lease extension or would like some help to give one to a landlord, our friendly and professional solicitors can help. Call us on 0808 178 2773 today to arrange an appointment.