Do I need to make a Tribunal application?

by The Chartered Surveyor

Question

I am part way through the lease extension process (which has been dragging on for some time) and my solicitor has advised me to make a Tribunal application. I do not wish to incur the cost of such an appearance but have been told it is necessary. Is this the case?

Answer

Tribunal appearances in any scenario are always the option of last resort. The tone of your email suggests that both your solicitor and surveyor have not been at their best in communicating the reasons behind the need to make an application but I’ll try and have a guess at the likely reasons.

The most obvious stems from the period of time you have to complete the entire extension process which is 6 months post counter notice. If this time period elapses and you have not made an application, then the process is void and you will have to serve a new notice, probably have a new valuation and cover the other side’s costs to date. Applications made to avoid this are therefore often referred to as ‘protective’.

The other likely reason could be that the other side is non responsive in the negotiation process or is simply holding out for an overly high and unfair figure. In this instance the threat of going to Tribunal, which will be expensive for both sides, is often enough to encourage a swift settlement.