We bring together experts in leasehold matters from across various disciplines within the firm. The specialism we all share is in the area of statutory rights for tenants of residential leases.
These rights take various forms, from the ability for tenants to extend their existing lease terms or even purchase the freehold of their building, to the legislation which affects a landlord’s ability to dispose of its interest in a block of flats. This area of law is complex and it is vital to get it right.
We work for both landlords and tenants and have specialists in all areas of the sector. The following are examples of our work types:
· rights of first refusal
· lease extensions (voluntary and statutory)
· collective enfranchisement (where the tenants group together acquire the freehold of their building)
· leasehold houses – both extending the lease and acquiring the freehold
· right to manage claims (where tenants group together to acquire the management responsibilities under their lease from the landlord).
Our core team of seven fee earners comprises both transactional and litigation lawyers from the Chelmsford, Norwich and Ipswich offices. We also involve our tax planning and corporate colleagues, particularly where the tenants need to incorporate a company to take a transfer of a superior interest in their building.
The size of our transactions ranges too – we can act for a tenant who is selling their lease and needs to serve a notice on the landlord to exercise their right for an extended lease, through to considering large developments and how the rights of first refusal apply to that development. We can also advise landlords on whether or not they can avoid certain statutory rights from applying in the context of their development and future plans.
Not all of our matters are litigious and because our transactional lawyers know what to look out for in statutory proposals, we are well placed to advise on whether a voluntary approach is better for our clients.
Our practice area is growing and with changes in the legislation anticipated we anticipate that it will become easier for tenants to exercise their rights.
Charlotte Wormstone Legal Director at Birketts LLP