How Can A Leaseholder Extend Their Lease?

There are two ways that a Leaseholder (Tenant) can extend their lease:

1) Privately Agreed (Informal) Route

2) Statutory (Formal) Route


Private (Informal) Route

The Tenant could approach their Freeholder (Landlord) to request whether the Landlord would be agreeable to negotiate a lease extension.   Although this private route could save time and money however, there is no obligation on the Landlord to respond or agree to extend the lease.


If in the unfortunate events that the negotiation discussion between the Landlord and Tenant come to an end without any successful conclusion then the Tenant could consider whether they are able to extend the lease under the Statutory Route.


It is important to note that privately agreed lease extension requires lender’s permission. Therefore, if there is a mortgage registered on the Tenant’s property then the Tenant must obtain the lender’s consent.


Statutory (Formal) Route

A Tenant can apply to extend their Lease by the Statutory Route provided that the Tenant is eligible (such as owned a long lease for the past two years).


The Tenant would need to ensure that they have their finances in place in order to commence the Statutory Route. This is because the Tenant would need to pay for the following:

  • Surveyor’s fees to value to a new lease and negotiations etc
  • a premium to the Landlord to extend the Lease (once a premium has been agreed)
  • Once the Tenant serves a notice to request for a new lease then the Tenant will be liable for the Landlord’s costs
  • Landlord’s fees to extend lease
  • Solicitors costs etc


The Statutory Route has strict timelines that the Tenant must comply with. If the Tenant fails to comply with the timescales then unfortunately the Tenant would have to wait 12 months before starting the Statutory Route again. There is no requirement for lenders consent under the statutory lease extension route.


Terms of the New Lease

Under the Statutory Rules, the Terms of the New Lease are as follows:

  • Peppercorn ground rent (£0 ground rent) for the whole of the term
  • 90 years extension plus the length of time left on the current lease
  • Terms must be the same except for minor modification and exclusions allowed by law.
  • Premium payable for the new lease


S42 Notice – Tenant’s request for a new lease

Before a Tenant can serve a S42 notice, the Tenant would need to identify who the competent Landlord is.  The Tenant should apply to the Land Registry to find out who owns the Freehold Property and check who they pay their service charges and ground rent to.


If a Tenant pays ground rent and or services charges to a management company then all parties (Landlord and Management Company as well as any other relevant person) should be served with a copy of the S42 Notice.


The S42 Notice must contain certain information in order for it to be valid.  The Tenant must give the Landlord at least two months to give their counter-notice.


The Tenant should ensure that the S42 notice is protected by way of registration against the competent Landlord’s Title and also of any intermediate Landlord.  Failing to protect the initial notice will not bind a purchase of any reversionary interest in the property and therefore, the Tenant will have to start the process again.


S45 Notice – Landlord’s Counter Notice

The Landlord must serve their counter-notice within the 2 months period.  The Counter-notice must state one of the following:

  • Agree to the Tenant’s right to a new lease and accept the terms and proposed or propose different terms
  • Reject to the Tenant’s right to a new lease and explain their reason for this.It would then be up to the Court to decide whether the Tenant has the right
  • Claim that the Landlord has the right to redevelop the land (appliable only in certain circumstances)


If the Landlord has served a Counter-notice then it would be down to the parties surveyors to negotiate on a premium.  If in the unfortunate event that an premium cannot be agreed after the first two moths of negations, then both parties can apply to the Tribunal for an independent decision to be made.  The application must be made within 6 months from the Landlord’s counter-notice.


Once a premium has been agreed then the parties legal representatives can negotiate on the terms of the lease.  There are strict timelines on when the new lease terms must be agreed and when a claim must be made to the Tribunal.


In the event that the Landlord fails to serve a counter-notice, then the Tenant has the right to apply to the Court to seek an order for the grant of the new lease (on the terms as set out in the S42 Notice). This application must be made within 6 month from the date in which the counter-notice was required to be served.


If you are thinking of extending your lease or have any queries, please contact us. Our experienced property solicitors and litigation team have dealt with different types of lease extension.




Is Your Tenant In Rent Arrears?

Occasionally Landlords will have Tenants who complies with the terms of the tenancy agreement and pay the rent on time with no issues.

However, in the unfortunate event that a Landlord has to deal with a Tenant who defaults on the rent payments then the Landlord may wish to consider the options available to them. Whilst Landlords tend to own the property that they rent out a Landlord cannot simply kick the Tenant out, there is a process that the Landlord need to follow.


Enter in to Negotiation discussions with the Tenant

A Landlord should try and speak to their Tenant if the Tenant is in breach of any of the terms of the tenancy.  Any verbal communication should be followed up in writing to ensure that there was no misunderstand.

If the Tenant is in rental arrears then the Landlord may consider whether they would be agreeable to a repayment plan or seek the Tenant’s consent to deduct the outstanding rent from any deposit that is being held in a deposit scheme.   Sometimes communication with Tenants does not always work and therefore, this would leave the Landlord with the only option but to issue court proceedings to regain possession of the property.


Monetary Claim

The Landlord could issue a money claim against the Tenant for the rental arrears. There are set proceedings that the Landlord must follow i.e. complying with the pre-action protocol and sending a letter before action.

If the Tenant fails to respond to the letter before action then the Landlord can then issue a monetary claim against the Tenant.


Eviction Claim

There is a 3 stage process to eviction claims for both Section 8 (breach of tenancy) and S21 Route (possession and money judgment / possession only) which are set out below:


Section 8 Route - breach of terms of the tenancy

  1. Notice

Where a Tenant is in breach of the terms of the Tenancy or in rental arrears then the Landlord can prepare a Section 8 Notice giving the Tenant a certain length of time to rectify that breach.

  1. Issue Court Proceedings 

If the tenant fails to pay the arrears or rectify the breach then the Landlord can issue possession proceedings.

The Landlord have the option to issue proceedings online via possession claims online if the breach is only in relation to rent arrears. There is a court fee of £355. The court will issue the claim and if the Landlord has provided the Tenants address within the claim form then the Court will serve the claim on the Tenants. The Tenant will have 14 days to respond to the claim. The Court will also list the matter down for a hearing.


Section 21 Route - no fault possession 

  1. Notice 

Landlord must give the Tenant at least 2 months’ notice to vacate. This route has become stricter in a sense that there are a number of obligations on a Landlord that must be fulfilled in order to use this route.

  1. Issue proceedings 

There are two options which a Landlord could take which are as follows:

  1. Standard Route: The process is similar to issuing proceedings under the Section 8 route as a hearing date will be listed. A Landlord can use this route for possession and also a monetary judgment for the rental arrears.
  2. Accelerated Proceedings Route: this route can only be used if the tenancy agreement is in writing and all the Landlord's requirements are fulfilled (i.e protecting deposit, serving EPC certificate, served Gas Safety, How to rent booklet on the Tenant). The Accelerated Route is only available for possession only. This means that the Accelerated Route cannot be used if the Landlord wants to seek possession and also a monetary judgment for the rental arrears.
  3. Instruct Bailiffs

Once an Order for Possession has been granted (regardless whether it has been made under the Section 8 Route or the Section 21 Route), the Landlord can instruct County Court Bailiffs or apply to the County Court to obtain permission to instruct High Court Enforcement Officers.  The Bailiffs will then arrange an appointment date to attend the property to lawfully evict the Tenant.

If you are dealing with a "difficult" tenant or facing rent arrears, please contact our experienced litigation team.

What Is Available Financial Resource In Divorce?

The starting point in every case must be to establish the financial positions of the parties (ie. what are the assets and liabilities of the parties). The court will then decide how the available resources should be allocated fairly and achieve a fair outcome.

In order for the court to determine how the available resources should be distributed to the parties fairly, considerations are given to statutory factors stated in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. These are also called “section 25 factors”.


The court will also consider some extra-statutory factors: needs, compensation and sharing (Miller v Miller; McFarlane v McFarlane 2006).


What are the Section 25 Factors?

The court will have to take into account of all the circumstances of a case, first consideration has to be given to welfare of any children under 18 years old, and the following factors: -

  1. Parties’ income and earning capacity, capital, property and financial resources
  2. Parties’ financial needs
  3. Parties’ standard of living during marriage
  4. Parties’ ages and length of marriage
  5. Any physical or mental disabilities
  6. Financial and domestic contributions each party made during the marriage
  7. Any conduct which will be unfair for the court to ignore.


Income and earning capacity, capital, property and financial resources

The court will take into account the parties’ income from all sources. Their respective actual earning will be the starting point.

The court will also consider parties’ potential earning.

The court will consider parties’ skills, age, and time out of work etc.

Earning Capacity maybe significant In determining who occupy the family matrimonial home.



First Hearing/“First appointment”

Depending on local court practice this will may be used as a first opportunity by the District Judge to address issues and encourage the parties to negotiate.

Procedural matters are dealt with and directions are given by the Judge about the future conduct of the case. The Judge will effectively endorse a timetable agreed by both parties leading up to the next hearing. Typical provision will include a timetable for parties (i) to exchange their questionnaires, which give parties a one-off chance to raise queries against each other’s Form E, (ii) provide certain disclosures; and (iii) a timetable for the next hearing.

In the first appointment, the only people present will be the Judge, the parties and their legal representatives.


Second Hearing/Financial Dispute Resolution Appointment

The “FDR” is usually listed about 2 months after the First Appointment. By that time both parties should have available all the relevant facts and documents, if directions set out by the Judge in the first appointment are follow strictly. If not, the parties would get a chance to raise these issues with the Judge in the FDR.

The FDR will be led by the District Judge with a view to encouraging the parties to reach a settlement on a without prejudice basis.

Without Prejudice offers will usually have been made on both sides and these will be considered by the Judge and each of the legal representatives will explain their respective positions.

Each Judge has their own way of conducting the FDR. However, the Judge is likely to give a view as to which arguments are likely to find favour and may indicate what kind of order he or she would make if hearing the matter. The parties and their lawyers are then invited to leave the Judge’s room in order to negotiate.

If agreement is reached, the District Judge may make an order there and then but it is quite usual for the matter to be adjourned so the order can be drafted by your solicitor back at the office, approved by the other side and then sent to the Court for approval. If the matter is not agreed, the Judge will make any further directions required and set the case down for a final hearing.


Final Hearing - If the parties are still not in agreement, the matter is listed for a final hearing. This is a much longer hearing, again heard in private, although it may take place either in the Judge’s room or in a Court room.

A very straightforward case might be set down for half a day. A longer case will take up a whole day or even a week. The Judge who dealt with the FDR cannot deal with the final hearing because he/she will be aware of the without prejudice offers which cannot be disclosed to the trial Judge.

At the start of the case, the solicitor or barrister for the Applicant will make an opening speech explaining what the case is about.

Each of the parties and any witnesses then give evidence, according to the timetable set/agreed in the previous hearing or in a Pre-Trial review hearing for more complicated cases, and are cross-examined.

The usual timetable for a final hearing is as follows : the Applicant going first followed by his/her witnesses and the Respondent and his/her witnesses giving evidence second. The lawyers each make a closing speech.

The Judge will then give his or her Judgement and make whatever order he/she considers appropriate. After the order has been made there will be more arguments presented on the question of costs and a costs order may be made.

If you have any enquiries about divorce, please contact our highly experienced family law team.

What buyers need to do after completion?

After picking up your keys and unpacking all your belongings, you’re probably thinking about all the little jobs you have to do now you’ve moved into your new home. Below are a number of tasks which we would recommend you deal with promptly.

Buildings insurance

It is likely to have been a requirement of your mortgage lender (if you have a mortgage) that you would take out building’s insurance on exchange of Contracts. It is therefore vital that you ensure buildings insurance cover is in place on completion. Even if you don’t have a mortgage, buildings insurance is still important as it will cover the costs of repairing damage to the structure of the property.

Meter readings

Unexpected energy costs are the last thing anyone needs just after moving into their new property. As such, it is important to take meter readings on the day you move in to ensure you’re only charged for the energy you use from the date you moved in, and that you’re not being charged for energy usage of the previous owner. If you are unsure, always check with your energy provider how to upload your meter readings.

Updating your address

Although it can be time consuming, updating your address as soon as possible is always best practice. Ensure you update your address anywhere this is held on file, be that your driving license, dental surgery, or any mail services you’re subscribed to.

Your Local Council

It is worth checking the website for your Local Council, as most have a helpful page confirming how you pay council tax, as well as other useful information such as the bin collection days for the property.


You will also need to let the properties service providers know that you have moved in, so they are able to update their records. You will need to contact the suppliers of your gas, electricity and water and also contact a broadband provider as soon as possible, as it can take a number of weeks for internet service providers to visit the property to set up your internet, so the sooner you arrange this the better. If you intend on watching television, you will also need to purchase a TV Licence. This can be done online on the TV Licensing website.

Ground Rent/Service Charge

If you have purchased a Leasehold property, you should have been advised prior to completion of any requirements to pay ground rent and/or service charge. On completion, your solicitor will serve notice on the relevant parties to inform them you will be moving into the property. They will then likely be in touch shortly after completion to confirm the sums payable and where they are due to be paid. If you have not heard anything in relation to Service Charge/Ground Rent shortly after moving in, it may be worth double checking with your solicitor that the relevant notice has been served.

Chan Neill property solicitors understand that buying or selling a property can be a stressful time. Our team is well experienced and have stringent protocols in place to streamline the entire process efficiently, providing our clients with peace of mind. Across our team, we speak many languages including Mandarin and Cantonese, Gujarati, Russian, Portuguese, Korean and Spanish.

Chan Neill Solicitors is accredited under the The Law Society’s Conveyancing Scheme Qualification (CQS), which provides a recognition of our residential conveyancing standard and quality and is officially recognised by a range of mortgage lenders which grant us access to their residential mortgage lender panels.

If you have any enquiries regarding residential properties, commercial properties, buying or selling a property or properties owned by a limited company, please contact us. With access to our solicitors at two locations, one in City and one in Mayfair, we cover a very broad spectrum of varying clients needs.

Border Force Seizures

On occasion, packages are seized by either HMRC or Border Force when bring imported or exported across the UK border. This can occur for a variety of reasons. (i.e. the wrong tax or duties being paid, incorrect or missing paperwork such as licences-, prohibited items being included in the shipment, suspicion that the items in question may be the proceeds of crime).

Border Force officer may stop you when you pass through the green channel at airport. They are entitled to carry out baggage checks in front of you. You must declare to customs if you bring:

- Anything over your duty-free allowance

- Banned or restricted goods in the UK

- Goods that you plan to sell

- More than £10,000.00 (or its equivalent) in cash, if you are coming from outside the EU

Notice of Seizure of Goods

If you receive a Notice of Seizure of Goods from the Border Force, this means that items that you have tried to import or export haver been confiscated by the body in question. The communication will include the contact details of whichever organisation currently has your belongings in their possession, and will inform you of what to do next if your package has been seized by customs.

Border Force Restoration Policy

The Border Force restoration policy is a set of rules, stating that if Border Force has seized goods that belong to you, you can apply to have those item restored. You will need to submit a Restoration Request or Notice of Claim in 30 days after the seizures.

Border Force will consider all requests for the return of seized items, and will take into account all information that you provide to support your claim. However, if the items they have confiscated are prohibited or related to any crime – including tax evasion or smuggling – it is highly unlikely that they will be returned.

If you receive a Border Force warning letter (Notice 12A), the best first step is to seek legal advice. You should then contact the authority that currently holds your items as soon as possible, as Border Force expect to receive a Restoration Request or a Notice of Claim within a month.

Border Force usually start destroying perishable items such as alcohol and tobacco products after 45 days, so it is important to ensure that your claim is sent well before this time.

Border Force and HMRC

Border Force may pass your matter to HMRC if there is reasonable suspicion that is proceeds of crime related.

To request the return of seized items from HMRC, you will have to appeal a confiscation and request the return of seized items. HMRC and Border Force will consider all requests of this kind, However, if the items are found to be the proceeds of crime and/or are illegal to own in the UK, it is highly unlikely that they will be returned to you.


If HMRC or Border Force seized your goods, we can provide legal support by helping you to write as notice of claim or a restoration letter. We can also represent you if you decide to make a claim for unfair treatment by the Border Force officers, and/or if your HMRC seized goods are being treated as evidence of a crime.

Under these circumstances, a case may be taken to court claiming that the goods should not have been seized in the first place, and, if successful, you might be eligible for compensation. We have experience in helping clients dealing with Boarder force and HMRC, if you have any inquiry please contact us.