If you own a flat, then you should carefully consider the length of your Lease and whether you need to obtain an extension to the term.
This is not only relevant if you are considering selling your flat but should be considered in any event as the number of years left on your lease decreases, so does the value of your property. Leases with shorter terms may cause problems should you decide to sell or re-mortgage your property in the future.
There are two routes to obtaining a Lease extension. The first is a voluntary Lease extension by agreement with the freeholder. This is exactly as it sounds and if, via informal negotiations with the freeholder, the length of the extension, the amount of money to be paid to the freeholder and the ground rent to be charged on an annual basis can be agreed, then the Lease extension can proceed. This is often the most straightforward and cost-effective way to obtain a Lease extension. Should your property be subject to a mortgage we will also ensure the necessary consent from your Lender to the Lease extension is obtained.
Unfortunately, in some cases the agreement for the Lease extension terms may not be reached by informal negotiations. In these situations, it would be necessary to follow the statutory procedure to obtain a statutory Lease extension. Provided you have owned the property for more then two years you should be entitled to obtain a 90-year Lease extension with no ground rent payable annually. You will also need to instruct a surveyor to obtain valuation advice and your surveyor will also assist with negotiations with the freeholder’s surveyor. We will communicate with your surveyor directly to ensure all parties have the required information and the strict timescales provided for when following the statutory procedure are adhered to.
In some cases, where agreement cannot be reached during the negotiation period, it will become necessary to make an application to the Frist-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for the court to decide what amount is payable for the Lease extension. Our Property Department and Civil Litigation Departments work closely together to ensure all Court procedures and deadlines are complied with.
If you think your Lease may need to be extended, then please contact our Dartford office on 01322 295555 to discuss your requirements in more detail.