Once you and the landlord have agreed all the terms of acquisition for the new lease, the next stage is the conveyancing process which is also known as ‘completion’.
The completion process can be broken down into the following steps:
- Your landlord sends the final copy of the lease (‘engrossments’) to you and any third party to the lease such as a management company
- Once you and your landlord have signed your respective lease, you can arrange a completion date within the timescales permitted by statute
- Your landlord sends you a completion statement, which reflects the agreed premium, their Section 60 costs and any ground rent they are owed up to the completion date (or any due to be refunded)
- On the completion date, provided the section 60 costs are reasonable, you send the funds to the landlord’s bank account via your solicitor’s client account. If you don’t agree with the Section 60 costs, you can apply to the FTT for a determination
- Once the funds have been sent, the respective solicitors date and exchange the lease deeds. This forms the exchange of contracts, making the new lease binding
- Your lease extension will be registered at the Land Registry. Their confirmation of registration signifies the end of the legal process
Many of these stages are governed by Schedule 2 of The Leasehold Reform (Collective Enfranchisement and Lease Renewal) Regulations 1993. These regulations stipulate the time frames within which many of these processes must take place.
While the regulations do not specify specific sanctions for non-adherence, it has been recognised that they are enforceable through civil remedies such as injunctions and orders for specific performance.