The Landlord and Tenant Act 2002 provides a mechanism for a landlord or leaseholder to apply to vary provisions in one or more leases that may be unsatisfactory.
Leases cannot generally be varied unilaterally. Where all parties to a lease agree that a provision needs to be varied that can normally be achieved by the parties entering into a deed of variation to reflect that variation which is then registered at the Land Registry.
Where the variation is not agreed by one party, or where the variation is agreed by all parties but the variation affects more than one lease so the costs of numerous deeds of variation are high, consideration should be given to whether an application to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) is appropriate.
Generally, an application may be made to vary a single lease or multiple leases where that lease or leases fail to make satisfactory provision for repairs and maintenance, insurance, the computation of the service charge or interest on arrears of service charge.
Where an application relates to more than one lease there are also other grounds for an application to be made. These are that the object sought to be achieved by the variation cannot be satisfactorily achieved unless all leases are varied to the same effect. If less than 9 leases are to be varied then all but one party must consent to the variation. If there are 9 or more leases to be varied then the application must not be opposed by more than 10% of the parties and at least 75% of the parties must consent to it. The landlord is a “party” for the purposes of these calculations.
The tribunal has the power to order any party to pay compensation to another if anyone can show they are disadvantaged by the variation.
Advance notice of the application must be given to anyone affected by the application, including the landlord, leaseholders, mortgage lenders and any management company or statutory manager.
Our award winning Leasehold Enfranchisement team have the specialist knowledge, expertise and experience to advise you in respect of claims for the variation of a lease or leases. They can assist you in determining whether there are grounds for an application, guide you through the procedure and likely costs involved in more detail and of course act for you in connection with the claim itself. They can also provide advice to those who wish to object to any claim made by another party or seek compensation.