Most houses are freehold, but most flats are leasehold. When you buy a leasehold property you are not really buying the bricks and mortar or the land on which the property sits; you are buying the right to inhabit the property for the term of the lease. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about extending the lease on your leasehold property.
Often, this may seem to amount to the same thing (where the lease is for 999 years, for example). But on properties which are getting closer to the end of their lease, the lender will need to take account of the effect of this on the future marketability of the property, and hence the effect on the property as security for a mortgage.
The numbers of leasehold properties have increased considerably since the 1950’s and 1960’s. Areas of greatest population, London and other major cities, generated new leasehold property as building land became scarce. Many of these early leases were for a 99 year term, but more recently modern purpose built flats have a term of 125 years or longer. Most leases on ex-local authority flats are also for 125 years.
Once the qualification requirements have been satisfied a ‘Notice of Claim’ can be served on the freeholder. You should first seek advice from a qualified Valuer with regard to the likely premium to be paid for the lease extension. Although the Valuer may not be able to give an exact figure, he/she will be able to give a good indication of the valuation figure and suggest best and worst case figures. Once the tenant’s initial Notice has been served, it can be assigned with the lease when the flat is sold. The buyer of the flat can then proceed immediately with the claim without having to meet the 2 year qualifying period.
Our friendly and approachable Conveyancing team are here to assist you and answer any queries you may have. You will be assigned an individual conveyancing lawyer or executive who will personally deal with your transaction from start to finish. If your lawyer or executive is unavailable, one of the team will be there to help you at any point, answering those worrying questions.
We are committed to providing a fast, dedicated and personal service to all clients to meet your individual property needs. We will keep you thoroughly updated throughout the transaction and work hard to meet your specific requirements and timescales.
We adopt a pro-active approach by communicating with you and all other parties in the chain regularly, to ensure that progression to exchange of contracts is speedy. We have also built strong working relationships with local estate agents to ensure that any problems which arise are solved quickly.