Once the initial Notice of Claim has been served on the freeholder, they have a period of 21 days from which to request evidence of the participating tenants’ title to their building and period of ownership. The freeholder also holds the right to inspect the tenants’ properties, subject to 10 days’ notice given to the occupiers. If this is not supplied by the leaseholder within 21 days then the ‘tenant’s notice of claim’ can be withdrawn, and the leaseholders must pay costs incurred to the landlord.
The freeholder then responds with a Counter Notice which will include their counter premium proposal. This must be served within 2 months of the date of the initial Notice of Claim.
If a freeholder owns a property where two-thirds of the leases in the building have a lease of less than 5 years from the service date of the notice, then they can claim the right of redevelopment against the leaseholders’ request for enfranchisement. In this circumstance, the landlord must prove indefinitely that they intend to demolish and redevelop the building, therefore voiding the enfranchisement claim.
If the event arises whereby the leaseholder and the freeholder cannot come to an agreement within 2 months of the freeholder’s issue of the Counter Notice, either party can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to have the matter settled by an independent body.