A property lease gives you the right to occupy a property for a set period of time. At the end of this period the freeholder will own your property, although you can stay on as a tenant. As long as you have owned the property for at least two years (but not necessarily lived in it), you have the right to extend your lease for an additional ninety years.
There are some exceptions to this. The freeholder cannot be forced to extend the lease if:
- Your lease has already ended
- The lease was originally granted for a period of less than 21 years
- Your home has been sublet on a lease of at least 21 years
- The freeholder is a charitable housing trust, the National Trust or the Crown
- If the freeholder wants to demolish and rebuild (you would be entitled to compensation)
Natalie Crowhurst explains “The value of your property can be seriously affected by a short lease, and if you have less than eighty years left, buying an extension becomes more expensive. A short lease also has an effect on the saleability of your property, so it is well worth keeping an eye on how long your lease has left.”
When extending a lease you will need a surveyor and a solicitor. Your surveyor will give you estimates on the value of an extension and your solicitor will advise and prepare the information you need for the application, serve notice on the landlord and conveyance the new lease. If you wait until your lease has ended your freeholder is under no obligation to extend it and you will become an assured tenant rather than owning your home.
If you would like to discuss any of the above points please contact our experienced team who will be happy to advise you.
For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and Natalie or a member of her team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.