The Third Surveyor

Single life buoy or ring leaning on wooden blue door

No, ‘The Third Surveyor’ is not a spoof title for a Graham Greene novel. Third Surveyors are real and inhabit the shadows of the Party Wall etc.  Act 1996.
This Act which applies to England and Wales (but not to Scotland or Northern Ireland) regulates building work likely to affect a neighbour’s property and provides a means of settling disputes by the appointment of surveyors. When surveyors are appointed, their first duty is to select a third (section 10(1)(b)). It is good practice for them to tell the parties who this is. It is important for the parties to know because they, as well as the surveyors, may refer a matter in dispute to the Third Surveyor. Usually the selected Third Surveyor is not told, much to the surprise of parties contacting a Third Surveyor. There is no discourtesy intended, it is simply custom.
What does a Third Surveyor do? He or she may be seen as a referee or a life preserver for the dispute resolution process. A Third Surveyor may consider any matter in dispute between the parties within the framework of the Act and settle it by making an award (section 10(11)). How is a Third Surveyor selected? By custom (there is much of this in the party wall surveyors’ world) a choice is usually made from a shortlist of three. The nominees are, or at least should be, experienced practitioners in whom the appointed Surveyors have confidence.
And there the Third Surveyor remains, known but unknowing, unless or until called from the wings onto centre stage.

DILAPIDATIONS – A Helpful Guide for Tenants

Canon Eos 5d mark2, lens 17-40 L at Canary Wharf, London, UK.

Don’t delay, contact your Landlord’s representative in good time

Instruct a Surveyor to assist you

Look at your Lease in detail to ensure you are aware of your repairing, redecoration and reinstatement liabilities

Ask your Landlord’s representative for approved contractors to carry out the works

Promptly contact your Landlord’s surveyor should you have any queries on the Schedule that has been served

Inform your cleaning contractors that a “deep clean” to the premises will be required once all works have been completed

Don’t forget to instruct gas, electric and asbestos surveyors to supply you with relevant certifications

Allow plenty of time for the works to be carried out before your Lease expires

Talk to your Surveyor if you are unsure of your Lease obligations

Inform all relevant utility companies of your final day

Open dialog between all parties will maximise the chances of a hassle free process

Note the improvements you have made and discuss with your Landlord’s representative

Surveyors are there to help. Ask for their guidance. They will be happy to help

Workplaces in a bright modern loft open space office. Tables are equipped with modern computers; book shelves. Singapore panoramic view. A concept of a high quality consulting services. 3D rendering.

A Guide to Purchasing Commercial Property

Considering purchasing a commercial property?  Here are a few criteria that you should consider to help you on your way ..

Lease agreement document with keys and pen

Commercial Properties are divided into 4 main areas:

  • Retail – shops, supermarkets, hairdressers etc
  • Offices
  • Industrial – warehouses, industrial units, trade counter units etc
  • Leisure – cinemas, concert halls & non residential institutions, schools, nurseries, health centres.

These are again sub-divided but your commercial agent will be able to advise you on the correct user clause which is suitable for your requirements.

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Purchaser’s Considerations:

If you decide on purchasing a commercial property you’ll need to consider either Freehold or Leasehold.

Freehold is when you own property & land outright.

Leasehold is when you purchase the property but not the land that the building/structure is on.  A leasehold will revert back to the freehold when it expires. A leasehold interest can vary from a few years to 999 years.   At Davis Brown,  we can help and advise on the value of a leasehold interest as the lease length will be of significant importance in the value of the property.  It is worth speaking to your agent to discuss the lease length in detail as it is sometimes possible to purchase a longer leasehold interest from the head lessee.

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Find out when the last works to the property were undertaken; are they overdue?  Do all works that have been undertaken meet current Heath and Safety regulations as well as Building Regulations?  It may give you some leverage in chipping the asking price of the subject property.

Submitting your Offer:

Adeline Place 15-ext-7

Commercial Property in London can be marketed in various different ways.  Some properties will be put to the open market and sold by way of private treaty, and have no time scale for submitting an offer.  Others will have a deadline date where all offers must be made by a certain time/date and will either be by informal tender or sealed bids.

All offers must be made in writing.  Be clear with regard to any conditions that your offer is subject to (i.e. your offer is unconditional or submitted subject to survey.).  Supply proof of funding to the vendor together with your solicitor details and a realistic time scale when you can exchange and complete on the purchase.  Please note that on some purchases, the vendor may have set the exchange and completion dates.  If this is the case, check with your solicitor that you are able to meet with this time scale.  Try to supply as much information as possible to the vendor supporting your offer.

Accepted Offer:

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Once your offer has been accepted, the vendor or their agent will send Heads of Terms out to all relevant parties and their solicitors.  Once Heads of Terms have been agreed and solicitors instructed, the property will then be put under offer and you should ask for the property to be taken off the market and for no further viewings to take place.  The vendor’s solicitors will then send a legal pack to your solicitor, which will include a draft contract and report on title, this will then allow your solicitor to apply for local searches and raise any enquiries with the vendor’s solicitor.

Exchange of Contracts:

26 Fitzroy Square - External

An exchange of contracts takes place once both parties have agreed and signed the contract and the deposit monies have been transferred to the vendor’s solicitors (this is normally 10% of the purchase price).  As a general guide, allow 4 weeks from receipt of all legal documentation to your solicitor and exchange of contracts.  Check with your solicitor with regard to any insurance that may be required on the property between the exchange and completion date.

Completion:

Completion will take place once all remaining monies have been transferred to the vendor’s solicitors.  As a general guide, from exchange to completion allow 2 to 6 weeks.  Your solicitor will inform you when completion has taken place and it is at this time that the vendor will release the keys to you.  When you collect the keys, request that meter readings are taken at this time.

Once you have completed, ensure that you have adequate insurance in place, pay any outstanding Stamp Duty Land Tax (if applicable), Register your ownership with Land Registry and finally contact the local authority with regard to any business rates which may be applicable.

Dress Your Home To Sell – Top Tips

It’s the question every home owner asks us – ‘How long do you think it will take to sell?’  Apart the obvious of setting a realistic price, styling and presentation has become a big factor. So much so, we now offer an in-house styling service to our clients in order to present their home in the best possible light.

1. First and foremost – declutter. This is probably the most important point and we cannot stress this one enough. No-one wants to see a messy home. Start by clearing worktops, surfaces and bookshelves.   Remember – less is more..

Green armchair in bright boho living room interior with plant on table and decor on the wall

2. Do not store the clutter in the loft or garage either! Buyers and tenants want to see these spaces too.

3. Undertake any maintenance issues now. We’re talking about the mouldy mastic around baths and showers, cracked plaster and broken tiles and glass – not a pretty look! You want the buyer and tenant to see that the property has been well looked after.

4. Decorate if necessary. This will instantly brighten the room. Try to use neutral colours and hues rather than strong or bold colours which won’t be to everyone’s taste.

5. Get your Mr or Mrs Mopp on and clean, dust, hoover and scrub! Make sure grease and grime is removed from cookers and worktops. Ensure cupboard fronts and taps are gleaming and windows are sparkling.

Cleaning lady with a bucket and cleaning products on blurred background .

6. Style and accessorise. Start by getting rid of any out-dated pieces of furniture and decorations.  A room always looks better with a few current items rather than lots of out-dated ones

7. Dress the bed. We like to use plain white sheets and inject colour with cushions and throws. Try H&M or Zara home for the latest trends which are reasonably priced. Plus you can take them with you when you move.

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8. Hang mirrors to make a room feel larger than it is. We particularly like them above fireplaces and along narrow corridors

9. Replace family portraits with art or prints. We are loving the latest prints from Desenio.

10. Add a coffee table book and a few magazines to the coffee table.

Modern wooden coffee table and cozy sofa with pillows. Living room interior and home decor concept. Toned image

11. Inject some life by adding flowers and plants – a vase of freshly cut flowers on a coffee table can really look the part.

Autumn home flowers decoration in vase on table in living room

12. Dress the dining table for dinner. If this is not practical, try a bowl of lemons and limes in the middle of the table – great for a splash of colour.

13. Plump up the sofa and add some cushions and a throw. New cushions are a perfect way to keep up with latest interior trends.

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14. Turn on table and floor lamps. If you have pendant lamps, you might want to consider updating the shade – check out Ikea and Habitat who have some lovely statement shades.

15. Upgrade bathroom and kitchen taps. We are in love with these brass taps from Perrin and Rowe.

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16. Add fluffy towels and some luxury hand wash in the bathroom.

17. Update curtains and blinds in neutral colours and hues.

18. Light a candle – the scented candles smell great and can be lit just before a viewing. A group of candles can make a great display on a coffee or dining table or fireplace.   Pick up fabulous scented candles from TK Maxx or Homesense.

Closeup of burning candles spreading aroma on table in a spa room. Beautiful composition with grey and white candles for spa treatment. Zen and relax concept.

19. If you have outside space, pick up any weeds, mow the lawn and pressure hose away any green slim on paving stones and decking.

20. If all the above sounds like too much work for you, contact us and we will get our styling team to do it for you!

Emma How  tel: 020 7637 1066  email: Ehow@davis-brown.co.uk

Home to Rental Property

Renting out your home is a brave move for anyone, especially in central London. With over 150 pieces of legislation involved in the private rental sector there is a lot that can go wrong. However, to make the transition from home to rental property a little easier, Davis Brown have created a step-by-step guide.

Mortgage

Handing over the house keys from one person to another.

If applicable, first and foremost you must obtain consent from your mortgage provider as you could be in breach of agreement. It is usually one of the conditions of your mortgage that you apply for permission to sub-let the property – unless the property was purchased on a buy-to-let.

Leasehold or freehold?

real estate rent concept - old key with tag

If you own the property on a “leasehold” or “share of freehold” basis you will also need to gain consent from the management company and the superior landlord to let your property out. Have in mind there could be a small fee in order to be granted permission.  It is essential to check the terms of your head lease prior to letting your property. Davis Brown offer property management services for residential landlords so we can ensure that consent is gained before you let your property. Speak to one of our property managers to find out more.

Insurance

Portrait woman hands presenting small model of house, isolated grey wall background. Real estate, mortgage, home ownership concept. Safety, strong family idea. Insurance, protection

You will also need to inform your insurance provider (building and contents) as it is essential that you maintain full cover during the period that you are letting out the property. Your provider may also wish to make alterations in order to cover a third party residing at the property.

Condition

Extensive mold growth throughtout the walls and ceilings of a home

Take a good look at the condition of the building, interior and exterior. These things must be taken into consideration before letting out your property and it is essential to have any necessary work done before moving a tenant in. Davis Brown is RICS registered and can provide a full survey of your property and organise any works that need doing.

Energy

Energy labels with home on white background. Vector illustration

 

How is energy provided to the property? Is there gas in the building? A legal requirement of advertising and letting your property is provision of an Energy Performance Certificate and a Gas Safety Certificate (where applicable). These must be undertaken by qualified and registered engineers. As from the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to have a minimum energy performance rating of E. You should also take the time to check when your boiler was last serviced along with the radiators and other basic utilities.

Décor and Furnishings

Fully furnished Scandinavian bedroom with a lot of rugs, chair, small table, and vintage radio

Once you have the legalities sorted, you can decide how you want to present your property. Will you let it furnished or un-furnished? Can you make use of any previously wasted space to create an extra bedroom? Is the kitchen up to date and in good condition? Applicants prefer new, modern fittings and neutral tones such as white or light grey. Davis Brown offer an in-house design team who can help you with all aspects of the interior of your property.

 

Your 5-Step Guide to Renting in London

  1. Making an offer & agreeing terms

Firstly book in a selection of viewings in the area you wish to reside in. Once you have found a property you like, your letting agent will put forward your offer to the Landlord. It is important you provide as much information as possible in your proposed terms. Usually if the offer is agreed it will be subject to contract, satisfactory reference checks and cleared funds at the commencement of the tenancy.

Blossoming wisteria tree covering up a facade of a house in Notting Hill, London on a bright sunny day

Your agent will also ask you for an initial payment (also known as a holding deposit) equivalent to two weeks’ rent to reserve the property whilst they undertake the necessary reference checks and tenancy paperwork. As is common practice, acceptance of the reservation fee does not imply a tenancy and is non-refundable should you withdraw your offer at any time for any reason.

  1. Referencing

Your agent will obtain and verify references by an independent reference agency. You will be asked to complete an application form which will normally ask for your personal details, employment details and contact details of your current or previous Landlord. If you are studying in the UK, you will be required to provide confirmation from your educational establishment and details of a UK based guarantor. The guarantor will also need to complete a credit reference application. Should you be unable to provide a UK based guarantor, the Landlord may require the rent to be paid in advance for the total term of the tenancy.  From 1st February 2016 there is an obligation on landlords to ensure that any tenant has the “Right to Reside” in the UK.   If you live within the UK or EU then your passport is confirmation of your Right to Reside, but if you live outside the EU, proof of your valid visa or biometric card with also be requested.

London, United Kingdom - December 12, 2013: A Close Up Shot Of Two United Kingdom Biometric Passports On A Road Map Taken In A Studio

  1. Tenancy Administration

A tenancy agreement to let the property will be prepared which will form the legal obligations between the Landlord and the tenant. You should ensure you take the time to read through the agreement thoroughly. Each party will be asked to sign a copy of the agreement and have their signature witnessed. Once both agreements are signed they will be dated and the contract becomes legally binding.

  1. Initial payment

Calculator House, concept investment

You will be sent a Request for Payment outlining the break-down of costs required to be paid prior to the tenancy start date and collection of keys. The break-down will usually consist of:

  1. First rent payment, i.e. one month if monthly, three months if quarterly, six months if bi-annually.
  2. Deposit – usually equivalent to six weeks’ rent.

Unless otherwise stated, we will hold the deposit as ‘stakeholder’ in a separate client account protected under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for the duration of the tenancy. At the end of tenancy the deposit will be returned, less any agreed deductions and following written consent from both parties.

5. Inventory and Check-in

On the day of the move-in, you will be asked to meet an inventory clerk at the property where they will assess its conditions and contents. The clerk will normally hand over the keys unless you have otherwise collected a set.  Once moved in, you will receive a copy of the inventory report and a welcome pack.

Word writing text Home Inspection. Business concept for Examination of the condition of a home related property.

As a tenant under the terms of the tenancy agreement you will be responsible for the following:

  1. Gas
  2. Electricity
  3. Water
  4. Telephone services
  5. Council tax – students should note that they would still need to register for Council tax, although in most cases students are exempt from this charge.
  6. Utilities – we recommend our tenants use Homeshift who will set up and manage the energy, internet, council tax and water bills via the Homeppl User Dashboard.  Working alongside Homeshift, you will be able to manage all of your utilities in one place, keeping track of costs & saving you money.

 

TopTrends for 2019

As we step into the new year, we’re beginning to see the new trends for our homes emerging; so what will 2019 have in store for us?  Let’s start with the Pantone Colour of the Year which is Living Coral, described as “buoyant, vibrant & effervescent”, this marine tone is predicted to dominate the design industry over the next 12 months.

Palm tropical trees from bottom view to pure sky. Coral color of the year 2019.

 

If you’re not too keen on the big bold shades, this is an easy one to tone down to shades of peach or even beige.  Beige tones take us straight back to the 70s when brown, beige, orange & rust colours were all the rage (if you were a Brownie in the 80s you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!).  These colours are all making a big come back,  & before you grimace, from what I’ve seen it’s working pretty well!

3d rendering of a contemporary luxury living room with leather sofa

We all know and love the Scandi style – it’s been around for a good few years now, but the addition of the Scandi Noir trend which embraces a moodier palette with darker colours is proving popular with kitchen cabinetry.  We’re seeing a rise in dark navy or black with a matt or powder finish, looks great against a bright white painted wall.  Watch this space!

3d rendering interior design

We’ve seen an emphasis on shapes this year, and all things curved, wavy & ocean inspired are coming our way.  Sofas are becoming rounded & curved in their design, round dining & coffee tables soften the straight lines of a living room, and look out for scallop designs, enveloping tub chairs & curvaceous sofas – such a pretty, soft & feminine vibe.

Green armchair in bright boho living room interior with plant on table and decor on the wall

Fringing & tassels are everywhere!  Designers are bringing in this flirty edge to our accessories, from cushions to lampshades to mirrors to curtains.  Many are looking sky-ward for inspiration & the results are out of this world!  Galaxy murals, cosmic tiles, zodiac plates – you’ll be seeing it everywhere.

Colorful ornamental cushions

10 Key Questions to Ask Your Letting Agent

Once you’ve spotted a flat or house you love and can afford, it’s easy to get carried away in excitement when you’re viewing it. It’s only after you’ve moved in that you may realise things aren’t quite what they seem, and start to wish you’d asked more questions.

Blossoming wisteria tree covering up a facade of a house in Notting Hill, London on a bright sunny day

Although you’ll have your own list of priorities to ask, there are a few things you may forget, so being the helpful Letting Agents that we are, we’ve listed 10 key questions for you to ask!

Who are the neighbours? Having good neighbours can make all the difference.   It is always worth discussing with your agent whether they know anything about who lives next door.

unity and friendship of neighbors in vintage paper style

What’s included? Properties can come furnished or unfurnished. Some properties are also staged for marketing purposes. Asking your agent what is included can save you from forking out for additional items.

Fully furnished Scandinavian bedroom with a lot of rugs, chair, small table, and vintage radio

What’s the TV & internet like? Whether you want to bring your existing TV & internet service with you, or you’re planning on switching, it’s a good idea to check what’s allowed or available in the new place. For example, a new landlord may not allow you to put up a Sky dish, Virgin Media cables may not be in place or you may have to change the phone line if you want to sign up to BT.

Globe on tablet computer at office desktop. Media app icons flying around the globe. There is a warm glow behind the globe.

How’s the heating & water? Check what boiler there is and when it was installed. Ensuring hot water comes out of the taps and the radiators work can save you freezing during the cold winter months. Double glazing will also help insulate the property. It is also worth checking the water pressure – you’ll be glad you did!

Fresh shower behind wet glass window with water drops splashing. Water running from shower head and faucet in modern bathroom.

What happens in an emergency? Make sure there’s a 24 hour phone number you’ll be able to call in an emergency. Is the landlord or estate agent managing the property? Knowing you have a reliable point of contact can help settle your nerves should anything go wrong. Hopefully you won’t need to contact them!

Are there any bills included? If you are fortunate enough to secure a property with bills included, you will want clarity which are, and which aren’t.

Wooden Blocks with the text: Fees

Are there any additional fees? You’ll likely already know what the rent will cost, but there could be other fees too. You’ll need to know how much deposit you’ll be paying, how much rent up front and any letting agents’ fees. Don’t forget to check the Council Tax bands too.

What is the pet policy? All landlords will have their own policy on pets and redecoration, with some more lenient than others. It’s important for you to know where you stand from the off, as it could stop you getting into a dispute later. If landlords are unwilling to let you keep pets or redecorate at the start, this viewpoint may change over time if you prove to be a reliable tenant.

Dogs and cats snuggle together

What local amenities are in the vicinity? You may have found the perfect rental property, but if its provision of local amenities doesn’t suit your needs then it’ll be of no use to you. Ask whoever is showing you around, about the local area and what to expect. Make sure they inform you about transport links and local shops, plus any other things you need to be close to such as schools, gyms or parks.

A runner in the misty Phoenix park.

Can I decorate my apartment? Some landlords don’t allow the tenants to put nails in the walls and therefore it is worth asking the managing agent whether you would be allowed during your tenancy. The most common response from landlords is that you ‘make good’ and patch up any holes and paint come the end or your tenancy.

Buying a Property? Key Questions to Ask.

lost man in a boat

Whether you are buying your first home, a holiday home or an investment property, there comes huge financial commitment, and for some, the largest financial investment of their life, not to mention what can be a confusing and  stressful time.  With such a large financial commitment, you want to make sure you have all the information at hand to guarantee you are purchasing a worth while investment. So rather than feeling lost at sea, we here at Davis Brown are here to guide you in the right direction with key questions to ask prior to placing an offer on a property:

What is the Tenure?   Is the property Freehold or Leasehold?

What is included within the demise?  Demise refers to the premises that has been transferred in the lease. Often a roof terrace may not be demised to the property and can in fact be communal. Make sure you get all the facts! In addition, you may find a storage unit/garage is demised to the property.  

Close up of industrial bricklayer installing bricks on construction site

What is the length of lease?  Having a short lease can at first seem great as the purchase price would seem ‘cheap’ – but don’t be fooled, to renew a lease can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

How much is the service charge?  This is a charge made for the maintenance on a property which has been leased. This can sometimes take a large chunk out of your rental returns and therefore it is worth making sure it is not too excessive.

English cottage garden.

Is there a sinking fund?  A sinking fund will cover repairs for the building. If there is no sinking fund, you might be digging deep into your pocket for any essential building repairs.

How much is the ground rent?  This is the rent paid under the terms of the lease by the owner of a building to the owner of the land on which it is built. This is usually a small charge; however, it is certainly worth taking note of the cost.

Is the vendor in a chain?  If the vendor is buying a property and that sale falls through, would this affect your purchase?

A Panoramic of the London skyline

What works have been carried out?  You will get a feel whether the building has been well maintained if external decoration and roof works have been carried out recently. It is important to know when the roof was last replaced, and the external façade was last decorated.

Are there any scheduled works within the building or surrounding area?  If so are these covered under the service charge and sinking fund?  

Is the agent or the seller aware of any new developments in the surrounding area?  Demolition and extensive development will be noisy!

Let board DB

What is the rental value?  It is worthwhile knowing what the potential rental value would be should you ever decide to let the property. Calculating the yield will show you the rate of return on your investment.

What is the EPC rating?  The Energy Performance Certificate shows the energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient, to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. If you are planning on renting the property, the landlord would require a property with an EPC rating with an E or above.

Is there scope to extend?  With each extension comes an increased return (subject to current market). With room to extend, whether in the loft, an additional bedroom, garage conversion or another bathroom, having the room to extend maximises the potential growth of your investment.

Where is the nearest train/tube station & bus route?  Properties that are located close to transport links come at a premium – but a worthwhile one! Properties that are located within proximity to transport links will always be an attraction should you decide to sell later down the line.

London, the UK. Red bus in motion and Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster. The icons of England in vintage, retro style

What schools are in the surrounding areas?  Is the property set within a school catchment area? Properties that are historically increase in value over time as there will constantly be a demand for Real Estate within proximity to highly regarded schools.

What parking options are available?  Permit Vs allocated off street!

Who are my neighbours?  It’s worth while making sure you don’t have an Air BnB next door!

Colored doors in an alley of London

Who are the managing agents?  Research who the managing agents are? Do they have a good reputation?

How close are the amenities? Having supermarkets, restaurants & cafés within a short commute would increase the rental price as these are all attractions to prospective tenants.

Residential Lease Extension – Proposals for Reform

Over recent years there has been much anger expressed about the complexity and cost of extending leases and the government has stepped in and said they are looking in to alternatives. The Law Commission has been briefed to come up with options to reduce the premiums payable on lease extensions while ensuring appropriate compensation is paid to the landlord – what most people would call a no-win situation.

On 20 September 2018, the Law Commission published its paper laying down some options for satisfying this seemingly impossible task.

Proposals Put Forward by the Law Commission

The least radical proposal for reform put forward is to keep the valuation method essentially as it is now, but to prescribe rates for some or all of the more contentious elements, namely: relativity, the value of Act rights, and the capitalisation and deferment rates. There might still be a dispute on the freehold value of the flat but, once established, the rest of the valuation would be straightforward. There would still be much to debate on what the prescribed rates should be but, once fixed, the opportunity for arguments would be much reduced.

A more radical proposal is to stick with the current approach but ignore marriage value. The landlord would only be entitled to be compensated for loss of the deferred freehold value and the capitalised rent. The abolition of marriage value would significantly reduce premiums and simplify the valuation process but, as marriage value exists, it would mean depriving the landlord of the full value for the asset being expropriated.

As an alternative, the compensation could ignore the value of the landlord’s asset altogether and be calculated as a multiplier of the ground rent. A formula based on 10 times the ground rent has been suggested in parliament. The problem with this approach is that the level of ground rent is often arbitrary – a flat in Skegness might have a ground rent which is significantly higher than that of a flat in Mayfair – and the landlord would receive no compensation for the loss of the reversion. It might work for very long leases where there is no reversionary value but in most cases, it would lead to the taking of property without payment of an amount reasonably related to its value.

Another “simple formula” would be to set the premium as a percentage – say 10% – of the freehold value of the flat. This, though, would result in premiums which do not reflect the different lease lengths or any difference in the ground rent payable. A 25-year lease could be extended for the same cost as a 125-year lease.

The Law Commission has suggested that it might not be appropriate to have a “one size fits all” method of valuation. Perhaps there could be a different method for valuing flats which are homes rather than investments or there could be a different scheme for low value claims. It has invited views on its proposals and it will be interesting to see what emerges from this process in due course.