Negotiating a lease extension to protect the value of your property.
When the length remaining on the lease of a house or flat falls below a certain number of years, it can impact the value of the property. At Blaser Mills Law we act on behalf of clients who own leasehold properties to extend the length of their lease and protect the value of their asset.
Advice and representation
The situation regarding a leasehold property can be confusing, however it is important not to let the length of your lease drop too far. If you own a property with a short lease we’ll explain your particular circumstances clearly to you and outline your options.
We have extensive experience in leasehold property law and will discuss your best course of action with you. We’ll ensure we’re available to speak to you throughout the transaction and to answer any questions you may have. Our online client portal also means you have 24/7 access to important documents and can see how the process is progressing from whenever you are.
You can be sure that we’ll work hard on your behalf to secure an extension to your lease and, if applicable, a share of the freehold.
Protecting the value of your home
If a house or flat has a lease with less than 80 years remaining, the value of the property can be adversely affected. Mortgage lenders’ rules mean that most will not lend money where the remaining term on the lease is below 70 years and, generally speaking, they insist on a lease that extends at least 30-40 years after the term of the mortgage.
A short lease means that no-one needing a mortgage will be able to buy the property and this will affect its value and saleability. If the term remaining on a lease falls below 80 years, it will cost considerably more to extend it. We can help you address this problem as soon as it arises by arranging an extension to the lease.
Extending a lease
Once you have owned a leasehold property for two years, you are entitled to a 90-year extension of the lease of a flat or a 50-year extension to the lease of a house.
In addition to extending the lease, if you and other leaseholders in a block of flats agree, you also have the right to buy the freehold of the building.
Also known as leasehold enfranchisement, the process of extending a lease and/or buying the freehold can be lengthy and complicated, but it is necessary to address the situation in order to protect the value of your investment. At Blaser Mills Law we are experienced in dealing with both lease extensions and freehold purchases, as well as related matters such as setting up a management company and transferring the freehold to it.
Our clients appreciate the clarity we bring to difficult leasehold issues. We explain the process clearly and are always available to speak to you to answer any questions you may have. We ensure that you are kept up to date with progress throughout.
The process of extending a lease or buying a freehold can take a considerable amount of time, particularly as a landlord may not be in any hurry to deal with the matter. We always work proactively to ensure that the transaction is dealt with without delay.
The lease extension procedure
It may be possible to negotiate informally with your landlord to reach an agreement on the cost of extending and the amount of years they are prepared to add to extend your lease. Otherwise, it can be extended by following the statutory route for lease extension.
This requires a notice to be served on the landlord making a formal offer. This should be based on a valuation of the lease and be a realistic sum. You will also be required to pay the landlord’s reasonable costs for any legal work or valuation.
If your lease is approaching the 80-year mark, you should consider extending it as a matter of urgency as once less than 80 years are left on the lease an additional payment, known as marriage value, is payable to the landlord. We can advise you on the potential costs of extending a lease and buying the freehold, then register your ownership at the Land Registry.
Owning a leasehold property
Leasehold property ownership involves far more considerations than freeholder ownership. There are a number of potentially expensive pitfalls, such as onerous ground rent provisions, which can make a property very difficult to sell. At Blaser Mills Law, we ensure that our clients understand the extent of their leasehold liabilities to make sure that any investment in property is sound.
We have wide experience in all aspects of residential property work, to include lease extensions and freehold purchases. Our Residential Property team has in-depth knowledge of the leasehold extension process and includes members of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, the mark of excellence for the home-buying process.