When seeking to exercise a right to extend a lease, a tenant is required to serve what is known as a section 42 notice on the landlord. Amongst other things, the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 requires the following principle information to be included in the notice:
- The names of the relevant parties;
- Sufficient particulars to identify the property
- Sufficient particulars to identify the lease;
- The premium the tenant proposes to pay the landlord;
- The terms the tenant proposes to be inserted in the lease; and
- The time in which the landlord has to respond.
Failure to omit any of the required information, or not to provide sufficient detail, may result in the notice being deemed invalid. If a notice is invalid, unless the landlord is prepared to waive the invalidity, the notice will be considered defective. As a result, not only will the notice not be considered sufficient for the purpose of instigating the procedure to extend a lease, but the tenant may be timed-bared from serving a further notice for a period of 12 months as a result. Not only will the cost of preparing the initial notice be wasted but, furthermore, the value of the lease will continue to diminish over the 12 month period which will, in turn, result in a higher premium being payable to the landlord.
In certain circumstances it is possible to save a defective notice by an application to the County Court. It is, of course, preferable that the initial notice is correctly drafted in the first instance.