Flat Extend Lease

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Ashley Connell

Edited by Ashley Connell

Leasehold Enfranchisement Solicitor at Hetts

Received a section 42 notice?

This page is primarily for freeholders / landlords.

A Section 42 notice typically refers to a notice served by a tenant exercising their right under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 in the UK. This notice is for the lease extension of a property.

Responding to a Section 42 Notice: Step-by-Step Guide

As a landlord, upon receiving a Section 42 notice, there are a few key steps to consider:

  • Review the Notice: Carefully read through the Section 42 notice to understand the tenant's intentions and the terms they are proposing for the lease extension.
  • Seek Legal Advice: It's highly recommended to seek legal advice from a solicitor specialising in lease extensions. They can guide you through the legal requirements, your rights, and the process involved in responding to the notice.
  • Respond within the Time Frame: There's a specific timeframe within which you need to respond to the Section 42 notice. Typically, this is within two months of receiving the notice. Failing to respond within this timeframe might result in legal consequences.
  • Consider Negotiation: You have the option to negotiate the terms of the lease extension with the tenant. This negotiation may involve the lease extension premium, the length of the lease extension, and other terms and conditions.
  • Valuation: The lease extension premium will need to be determined, which often involves a valuation of the property. Both you and the tenant may appoint your own surveyors or agree on a single independent valuer.
  • Serve a Counter Notice: If you agree to the terms proposed in the Section 42 notice, you can serve a counter notice confirming your acceptance. If not, you should provide a counter offer outlining the terms you are willing to agree to.
  • Proceed with Legal Process: If an agreement cannot be reached through negotiation, there are legal mechanisms in place for settling disputes regarding lease extensions. This might involve a tribunal or court proceedings.
Received a section 42 notice

Time is critical when responding to a Section 42 notice

As a landlord, you typically have a specific timeframe within which you must respond to the notice.

The typical duration for a response to a Section 42 notice is at least two months from the date of receiving the notice. The Section 42 notice will have a date specifified within it, being the last date that the response must be provided (in the form of a Section 45 Counter Notice). This date must be a minimum of at least two months after it was served, otherwise it will be classed as an invalid notice. As a landlord, failing to respond within this timeframe can have legal implications - most likely leaving the landlord in a position where they will have to accept the offer given by the tenant in the notice - which is usually a discount on the realistic premium. Tenants tend to serve a Section 42 notice with an offer at a discount to allow room for negotiation or hoping that the landlord will miss the deadline to respond.

It's crucial to adhere to this timeframe to ensure compliance with legal requirements and to protect your rights as a landlord in the lease extension process.