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Jon deals exclusively with Leasehold Enfranchisement work and is one of a handful of expert lawyers in the South East.
As Jon puts it: ‘Enfranchisement work brings together a balance of contentious and non contentious work. Traditionally most lawyers focus on one or the other. To provide a seamless service I think it is vital to have a thorough knowledge of:
• Property law
• The rules and procedures of the co-jurisdiction between the County Court, First Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal
• Enfranchisement law – from the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 and the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
• The evolving and ever changing developments in what is a niche area of law and practice
The final unique aspect to this work is the need for dual expertise – that requires legal practitioners to understand the valuation principles that expert surveyors grapple with on a daily basis and to understand the reports. A good working relationship with surveyors upon which we depend is absolutely essential.
Whilst the law is complex in this area Jon believes it is essential to understand the position of both the flat owner and the freeholder since often agreement can be reached which may leave both parties in a better position. A common sense approach can often prevail. However experience shows that there are times when such discussions would be fruitless.
From lease extensions, to collective enfranchisement, right of first refusal and the right to manage claims, Jon works closely with a number of specialist surveyors both locally and in London and the suburbs. He has also dealt with a number of leasehold house enfranchisement cases under the 1967 Act. These are quite rare in the South. He keeps up-to-date with enfranchisement legislation, County Court proceedings and most importantly decisions of the First Tier Property Tribunals which can and do influence the approach he will take in a particular case.
'In recent years, there has been a strong interest in enfranchisement work and Jon notes that 'clients often carry out preliminary research through the Leasehold Advisory Service and other excellent online sources before embarking on the legal process. For us that is extremely helpful since clients often understand the principles before embarking on the process'.