Leasehold extensions – your rights
Were you aware there is legislation giving owners of leasehold flats and houses the right to increase the value of their property by extending their lease?
Our lease extension solicitors specialise in leasehold enfranchisement and lease extensions both for clients locally in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset and Berkshire and throughout England and Wales. Extending lease and freehold purchase is all they do and our 5 strong team is one of the most specialist anywhere in the country.
Why do I need a Lease Extension?
A short lease can really undermine your ability to sell your flat for a decent price – and now is the best time for your lease extension.
- Since the last recession, many mortgage companies have amended their lending policies and increased the minimum lease term they are prepared to lend against. This means it has got much harder to get a mortgage on leases with even as many as 70 years left.
- An extended lease makes your property much easier to market and sell
- Your lease is a diminishing asset – the term drops daily regardless of a good or bad economic climate. Not only is the value of your property dropping as the remaining lease term gets short, if you don’t extend your lease then when the lease ends, the you will either have to move out, or take the low-security option of trying to negotiate a rent from your freeholder
- The cost of your lease extension is partly set by the value of your flat when you come to extend your lease. That means while your property value continues to rise, your lease extension is becoming more and more pricey
- A lease with 80 years or less remaining is increasingly expensive to extend as the freeholder is able to charge an additional premium – which is known as the “Marriage Value”. This additional charge applies when you come to exercise your lease extension rights
How our Leasehold Extension Solicitors can help
We advise tenants on buying a freehold title and other enfranchisement claim issues including:
- Leasehold extensions
- Claims for lease enfranchisement (also called collective enfranchisement)
- Buying a freehold
- Exercising your right to manage your block
- Grant of new leases
- Deeds of variation
We deal with lease enfranchisement (also called collective enfranchisement) – which is the right for tenants to join together (under the Leasehold Reform Act 1993) to force their landlord to sell the freehold of their block of flats to them.
Our solicitors are highly experienced in this specialised area – with over 25 years experience in dealing with up to 400 leasehold extensions every year.
Who do we represent?
Our specialist Leasehold Extension Solicitors represent individual leaseholders as well as property management companies, landlords and residents associations, providing jargon-free legal services and practical legal advice. We offer a FREE initial telephone consultation.
Although we’re always happy to meet you, most of our nationwide lease extension and enfranchisement clients deal with us by e-mail, phone and Skype, avoiding the necessity of meeting face to face. Although our local clients are more than welcome to visit us at one of our local four offices – Salisbury, Andover, Fordingbridge and Amesbury. So wherever you live in England and Wales, for legal advice from specialist Lease Extension Solicitors, contact us today.
How do we get started?
Once you have appointed us to deal with your lease extension, the next stage is usually to appoint a specialist chartered surveyor to value the planned Leasehold Extension. You need to ensure you’ve appointed someone specialising in extending leases. Our team regularly work with surveyors who specialise in Leasehold Extensions and Freehold Enfranchisement cases and can assist you select the right one from our specialist surveyor panel.
Lease extension – acting for freeholders
Freeholders as well as flat-owners will need expert legal advice when it comes to the lease extension process and our leasehold reform specialists have extensive experience in protecting the interests of freeholders.
Statutory lease extension
If you, as the freeholder, receive a formal request for statutory lease extension, you’re going to need specialist legal advice for the following reasons:
• It is important to check that the statutory notice is legitimate and whether you are compelled to grant the extension
• The premium stated in the notice may not be big enough – in which case you will need a solicitor to issue a counter notice demanding a higher premium
• You will have to negotiate this premium if it leads to a dispute
• you will need to comply with both the timetable and complicated procedure involved in finalising any lease extension.
As there are time limits involved in the lease extension process, it’s really important that you get specialist legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
Non-statutory lease extension
If a leaseholder informally asks for a lease extension you not required to negotiate or even respond. However our specialist lease extension team can help you negotiate a better deal – perhaps a higher premium, better ground rent terms and we can also help you negotiate and grant a lease shorter than the statutory 90 year period.
Sale of the freehold
We can also help freeholders when they are approached by leaseholders looking to buy their share of the freehold a process is sometimes referred to as ‘freehold purchase’, ‘collective enfranchisement’ or ‘lease enfranchisement’.
Lease extensions – how big is the market?
Many people don’t realise how huge the lease extension market is – but recent figures from the Office of National Statistics should help to make it clear. There are 22.5 million homes in England and Wales of which a fifth are flats. Of these flats, 1.5 million are long leaseholds which are going to require a lease extension at some stage.