Leasehold Conveyancing Services
Buying a leasehold property can be complicated and expensive – and specialist help from an experienced and highly qualified conveyancer can make all the difference.
When you buy the leasehold, you own the property but only lease the land it’s built on for a specific time which means there are a number of potential issues to watch out for including:
- Escalating ground rents – when a new build developer sets the initial rent at one level but with the prospect of it doubling every ten years, for example, making the property possibly difficult to sell on again;
- Extending the lease – extensions get much more expensive after the lease falls below 80 years;
- The importance of checking the small print – the lease between the leaseholder and the landlord must cover things that are the leaseholder’s responsibility like paying an annual ground rent, contributing to maintenance and management costs as well as insurance for communal areas.
The most commonly sold and purchased leasehold properties are flats, often accompanied by a disproportionately large number of problems and delays.
Buying or selling a leasehold property – what first?
Want to extend a short lease?
If you wish to extend the length of your lease, known as its term, but are not sure what you need to do next then get in contact. We can also advise you if you have already agreed terms with the freeholder or landlord but want to make sure all the legal paper work is watertight.
Buying the freehold of a leasehold house or extending the lease
This is where you own a house but the title to it is leasehold, and you wish to buy the freehold. There may also be circumstances when you wish to extend the term (i.e. length of your lease) and you have either agreed terms with the freeholder/landlord or require advice on how to proceed, although this is less common.
Deeds to vary leases
Where the terms of the lease need to be changed – due to error, change of circumstances or to remedy a defect. Also currently to change the rent review structure when it is no longer acceptable to a buyer or lender.
Setting up new leasehold schemes for developers or landlords of buildings divided into flats
- When it comes to setting up new developments of flats or mixed use developments.
- When you own a building used as flats and new leases are required to sell or mortgage any individual flat.
The Government is under pressure to reform existing leasehold law to make it easier and cheaper to buy the freehold or to extend a lease.
It is looking at a number of different proposals to improve the system – including banning all new leasehold arrangements for new-build houses going forwards but despite growing public pressure, change is not likely to happen quickly.