Sign on the dotted line…getting leasehold notices right

Sign on the dotted line…getting leasehold notices right

Professor James Driscoll looks at the practical effect of changes contained in the small, but powerful, Leasehold Reform (Amendment) Act 2014 (LR(A)A 2014).

Original news

Leasehold Reform (Amendment) Act 2014, LNB News 14/03/2014 65

Notices for participating in collective enfranchisement or extending a lease can be signed by someone acting on the tenant’s behalf from 13 May 2013. Solicitors and relatives will be able to sign such notices on a tenant’s behalf.

What is the background to the LR(A)A 2014?

Measured by its length, LR(A)A 2014 is very modest, occupying as it does, just two sections. However, the amendment it makes to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (LRHUDA 1993) will be far-reaching in its practical effects. LR(A)A 2014 received royal assent on 13 March 2014 and it will come into force on 13 May 2014. However, the amendment does not apply to Wales. As housing legislation is a devolved matter, similar legislation will need to be passed by the Welsh Assembly before this provision will apply to dwellings in Wales.

LR(A)A 2014 amends LRHUDA 1993, s 99(5)(a), which deals with notices given under LRHUDA 1993, s 13 (collective enfranchisement claims) or under LRHUDA 1993, s 42 (new lease claims). LR(A)A 2014 removes the requirement that these notices be ‘signed by each of the tenants, or (as the case may be) by the tenant, by whom it is given’.

What are the practical effects of the changes?

Personally signed

The effect of LRHUDA 1993, s 99(5)(a), before the amendment to LR(A)A 2014, was that section 13 and section 42 notices needed to be signed personally by the leaseholders. Where there were joint leaseholders to a lease, both needed to sign (

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