As a home owner, it makes financial and practical sense to have a good understanding of the terms of your lease. The lease contains a lot of information, it is very important to know the the number of unexpired years you have left on the lease, this is known as the “Term”. At the end of the Term , the property reverts to the ownership of your landlordunless you decide to assert your legal right to extend the lease.
Lease extension process
The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act of 1993 gives the leaseholder a right to extend their lease by a further 90 years once they have owned the property for 2 years, however a buyer may take advantage of the Sellers period of ownership and avoid waiting for 2 years. Lease renewal or leasehold extension is a legal process. For this reason, it is advisable to seek lease extension advice from specialist lease extension solicitor, if you are considering undertaking a lease extension agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached with your landlord the terms may be decided by an application to the Property Tribunal.
Length of Lease
Generally, if your property has a short lease, its value can be reduced by thousands of pounds however, extending a leasehold property should add to its value. Ideally you will seek to extend before the lease falls to 80 years, for after this period the leasehold extension cost becomes considerably more expensive.
If you are considering a leaseextension, first check the remaining Term of your lease. You should then appoint a solicitor who specialises in Leasehold Enfranchisement to check that you qualify. Your solicitor together with a specialist surveyor will guide you through the lease extension process. Note that the lease extension process has very strict deadlines, so you must have your finances in place, to move quickly when required.
When you complete, your property details will be appropriately amended at the Land Registry.
Voluntary Lease Extensions
Some landlords are willing to agree to lease extensions outside of statutory terms and this can lead to a costs saving. We will normally approach the landlord at the outset to see if they are willing to agree to a voluntary lease extension.