The LVT (Leasehold Valuation Tribunal) is a Leaseholder's ultimate recourse in the event that Lease Extension Terms cannot be agreed with the Freeholder.
The LVT is an independent public legal body forming part of 'The Residential Property Tribunal Service' and it exists to ensure that there is fair and unbiased adjudication process for both Leaseholders and Freeholders.
Leasehold Valuation Tribunals normally consist of three members: a lawyer, a valuer and a lay person. They may determine applications without a hearing, but where hearings are held they are less formal than court hearings, in particular evidence is not given on oath. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunals were set up to provide a quicker and simpler option to court proceedings.
The LVT is not a court but its decisions are legally binding.
The Tribunal presides over a number of areas including Buying the Freehold, Service Charges and Insurance, but here we are concerned with its involvement in deciding on a fair premium for Extending a Lease.
The vast majority of Lease Extensions we handle never go near the LVT
We strongly recommend that all other alternatives are explored before an appeal is launched to the LVT. We work closely with our highly experienced Surveyors, Solicitors and negotiators to ensure that an agreement is reached. As a penultimate strategy some people even resort to mediation before approaching the LVT.
4 Reasons why it is better to agree a Lease Extension Premium without going to the LVT:
- There is an application fee payable to the LVT (in certain circumstances this fee may be waived or reduced e.g. leaseholder receives income support).
- The protocol is complicated and can take a long time.
- Legal fees rack up.
- You have to pay the Freeholder's legal fees.
Can Fridaysmove help me with the LVT if necessary?
What can the LVT determine?
- The premium to be paid to the Freeholder along with any associated terms when the leaseholder wants to buy the freehold or extend the lease of their flat when the value of the extended lease cannot be agreed between Leaseholder and Landlord.
- The Landlord's financial costs incurred in handling an application to extend a lease or acquire the Freehold.
- If an absentee freeholder the LVT can set the price to be paid to extend the lease or acquire the Freehold.
Once you have appealed to the LVT, what are the next steps?
- You will receive confirmation that the LVT has received your application form.
- The Freeholder/Landlord will receive a copy of your application and will be asked whether they wish to contest it.
- If necessary, the LVT may ask for more information, for example a Lease copy.
- On rare occasions a representative of the LVT may request an inspection of the property ( e.g. to assist with valuation determination)
- The Leaseholder and Freeholder will be sent copies of the of the LVT's findings and given a period of time in which to comment.
- Depending on a number of criteria your 'case' will then be considered at a formal hearing or, if Leaseholder and Freeholder agree, by way of a 'paper determination'.
- The LVT will issue a final decision typically within two months.
What can you do if you don't agree with the determination made by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Following the hearing, if you don't agree with the LVT's decision, you may be able to appeal but you will need to move quickly and ask within 21 days of the hearing.
The LVT may refuse the appeal request in which case you could approach the Lands Chamber and ask for permission to appeal. This must be done within 14 days of the LVT's refusal to grant an appeal.
If the Lands Chamber refuses the appeal is it game over?
If you still feel that your case has not been properly considered you can make an official Complaint to the Residential Property Tribunal Service.
If you have fully digested the LVT appeal process you may be somewhat deterred. In fact the LVT is there to ensure that your rights as a Leaseholder are upheld in the fairest manner possible and it should be comforting to know that the LVT is there should you require it.
However, 99% of the Lease Extensions we handle do not go to LVT as we negotiate an agreement using our 3 Step Lease Extension Process.
Call us now for a no obligation chat on 033 0660 0286 and find out how we can help.