I own a flat and a garage held under separate, long leases in the same development. I would like to extend the leases of both my flat and garage but understand that in order to be eligible to make a claim for a statutory lease extension, the property must be a flat. Does that mean that I can't bring a
statutory claim to extend my garage lease?
The short answer is that you may be able to bring a claim to extend your leases of both your flat and your garage together.
A claim for a lease extension under the provisions of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 relates to a “flat” held on a long lease.
For the purposes of a lease extension under the 1993 Act, the definition of a “flat” is specifically broadened to include any garage belonging to or usually enjoyed with the flat and “let to the tenant with the flat”.
A garage is “let with the flat” if it is either demised to the tenant under the same lease or demised to the tenant under separate leases which, for the purposes of section 7(6) of the 1993 Act, are treated as a single lease with the lease of the flat.
Section 7(6) of the 1993 Act provides that where there are two leases, with the same landlord and tenant, and one of those leases contains a flat, and the other lease contains 'appurtenant property', the two leases are to be viewed as a single lease for the purposes of the 1993 Act. Appurtenant property includes a garage.
Therefore, the fact that your flat and garage are held under separate leases should not prevent you from extending the leases relating to both properties provided that the requirements of Section 7(6) are met. However, it is unlikely that you would be able to extend the garage lease alone under the 1993 Act on the basis that it is not a dwelling.
It is important that your solicitor takes care to ensure that all appurtenant property belonging to or usually enjoyed with the flat (such as an outhouse, garden or yard) is included in your claim for a statutory lease extension.
Jonathan Achampong is a senior associate solicitor at Wedlake Bell LLP.