Do I have to pay my co-share of freeholder to extend my lease when they are both the same length?

by The Chartered Surveyor

Question

I own one of two flats in a Victorian conversion and also own a share of freehold with the other leaseholder. We are both on 73 year leases so I thought extending both at the same time would not be a problem. The other leaseholder is now saying that he wants a premium for my extension as he has no interest in extending his. What can I do?

Answer

In most normal and amicable circumstances leaseholders on identical lease lengths do not tend to worry about their deteriorating leases as at any given time both can be extended for the cost of some straightforward solicitors work. Unfortunately unless all parties to the freehold agree to do this you have no other option but to pay your other co-freeholder to extend your lease and bare all the costs in doing so. If he demands that this is done formally or asks for an unreasonable premium your costs will also extend those associated with serving a S42 notice.

On the positive side of the coin as a co-freeholder you will effectively be paying half of the premium to yourself and should any future leasehold owner of the other flat look to extend their lease you are likely to be in profit after receiving the proceeds of that extension.