Leasehold Enfranchisement

When you purchase a leasehold property, you are only buying a right to use the land and building contained within the lease for a fixed number of years.  Lease terms can be anything from 99 years to 999 years.

Careful consideration needs to be given to the length of lease term remaining under the lease if you are not purchasing it from new since a short term remaining can affect saleability, market value and make it more difficult to secure a mortgage.

The majority of mortgage lenders require at least 80 years left on the lease in order to lend upon normal terms.  If less than 80 years is remaining on the lease then this will need to be notified, if you are purchasing the property, to your mortgage lender.  The lender may refuse to lend unless the lease term is extended.

If you are buying cash, we would still advise you to take action by having the seller agree a lease extension with the landlord before proceeding further to ensure that the property is saleable in the future.

A lease extension can be dealt with either informally (which means via direct negotiations with the landlord where terms and conditions are agreed) or formally (which means that an application is made under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (provided that the qualifying criteria is met to do so)).

Depending on the type of property it may be also be possible to acquire the freehold reversion to the property and we can advise you on this and the process once we have reviewed your lease

Whilst we are experienced in dealing with the legal aspects of all matters surrounding leasehold properties, we are unable to provide advice upon the price sought by the landlord for the cost of the lease extension or (where applicable) for the freehold reversion to a property and a buyer would need to obtain advice from a surveyor or land agent experienced in these types of matters

Please ring your local office to discuss your requirements and receive a quotation as to our fees for acting for you.