Exercising the right to enfranchise—houses

The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Exercising the right to enfranchise—houses
  • Notice of tenant’s claim
  • Effect of the notice of tenant’s claim
  • Landlord's Notice in Reply
  • Untraceable landlord
  • Costs

Exercising the right to enfranchise—houses

Notice of tenant’s claim

A tenant wishing to claim the freehold or an extended lease of their house under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 (LRA 1967) must serve a claim notice (sometimes referred to as a ‘desire notice’ because of the terminology of LRA 1967, s 5) on their landlord.

Service is more complex where the tenant is in fact an undertenant and there are one or more superior tenancies. In the relatively rare situation of the landlord's interest being charged and either the chargee is in possession or a receiver is in receipt of rents and profits, the tenant can serve their notice on the landlord, or the chargee, or the receiver (as the case may be). The actual recipient must then send the notice or a copy of it to the others.

In Keepers and Governors of the possessions, revenues and goods of the Free Grammar School of John Lyon v Helman, the Court of Appeal held that a notice served by receivers as agent for a tenant was invalid. The receivers’ notice claiming the freehold was given in the name of the tenant, Mr James, for whom the receivers acted as agents. However, by the time of the notice, Mr James was no longer the tenant of the house as his tenancy had, on the prior appointment of

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