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In Wiggins v Regent Wealth  EWCA Civ 1078 the Court of Appeal decided that an initial notice could not be amended to include leases granted after it was served.
The leasehold structure of the property was fairly complex, with a headlease, a management lease, occupational underleases of the seven flats, overriding leases of those flats and an ‘enforcer lease’ above the management lease to allow enforcement of it despite the grant of the overriding leases. The initial notice specified all these leasehold interests as interests to be acquired, other than the occupational underleases.
The freeholder served a counter-notice admitting the participating tenants were entitled to exercise the right of collective enfranchisement.
The initial notice was not registered against the titles of the landlords of the overriding leases of the third, fourth and fifth floors (the old leases). Subsequently, the landlords of each of the old leases granted further long underleases (the new leases) which were registered at the Land Registry.
The solicitors for the landlords of the old leases claimed that the new leases were not liable to acquisition, and that, if the enfranchisement went ahead, the participating tenants would acquire the old leases subject to the new leases, but for a price which disregarded the existence of the new leases. They argued the participating tenants should pay nearly £7m for the old leases which now only gave the right to possession for 10 days in 2122.
The participating tenants asked the landlords to agree an amendment to the initial notice to include the new leases. They refused.
Subsequently the participating tenants acquired the freehold, headlease and the enforcer lease.
In the county court it was held that:
The immediate landlords of appealed this decision and the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal.
Section 1 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (LRHUDA 1993) provides that subject to various qualifying criteria, ten
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