The truth about freeholders’ dirty tricks!
Leasehold Solutions has several thousand live lease extensions or freehold acquisitions in progress at any one time.
On a day-to-day basis we work against the biggest and most notorious freeholders in London and, consequently, have an in-depth knowledge of the tricks the various freeholders use to get the most money from each transaction.
Leasehold Solutions’ MD, Louie Burns, has written the following guide to some of these tricks, together with some advice on how you, the flat owner, might recognise and counter them!
Leasehold Solutions’ Louie Burns discusses the issue of maintenance charges on ITV London News
Leasehold Solutions’ MD, Louie Burns, was recently invited by ITV News to comment on outrageous maintenance charges levied upon the owner of an ex Local Authority leasehold flat in London E6.
At Leasehold Solutions we are passionate about highlighting the rights of leaseholders – including those who have purchased from social landlords (we use the term ‘freeholder’ to avoid confusion) and we were delighted to be given the opportunity to comment on this particular case.
Purchased or thinking of purchasing your leasehold property from the Council, Local Authority or other social landlord?
Did you hear our MD, Louie Burns on BBC Radio 4′s ‘You and Yours’ programme? Listen again here
Do you want to know more about non-statutory or ‘informal’ lease extensions? View our guide to The dangers of accepting informal lease extensions here (For MAC) View our guide to The dangers of accepting informal lease extensions here (For PC)
Louie Burns has recently recorded a video highlighting the dangers of accepting informal lease extensions. You can watch it here.
Have you been offered an informal? Do you want to discuss it with one of our expert team? Call Leasehold Solutions on Freephone 0808 1311 109
The issue of lease length
You are probably visiting this website because you are a flat owner and need to deal with your lease length issue. Whilst this issue may have come as a shock to you, it is very important to understand that the length of the existing lease on your flat has huge implications on both the underlying value of your property and its future marketability. More specifically:
Under 70 years – most mortgage lenders would choose not to lend against flats with leases below this level or will offer much less favourable terms.
70 to 80 years – it is important to take action now, as the cost of rectifying the problem is increasing exponentially.
Over 80 years – taking prompt action will avoid marriage value, whereby the freeholder is entitled to 50% of any uplift in value resulting from a lease extension or freehold purchase.
One of the only constants in life is change. Our circumstances, plans and goals can suddenly alter at any moment. If you deal with the complex issue of extending your lease now, you will protect what is probably the biggest asset you possess – your home – and be fully in control of your own life path.
Your legal rights
Various Acts entitle you to extend your lease, buy your freehold or take over the management of your building, provided you meet certain criteria. We have a full understanding of these Acts and can advise you on how they translate into the reality of extending your lease or buying your freehold and related activities.
The most recent is The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, which in terms of lease extension and freehold acquisition made the conditions contained within The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 easier to fulfil.
Are you eligible?
The eligibility to extend your lease or purchase your freehold is determined by factors such as lease length, where the flat is situated and your particular circumstances.
You can exercise your right to a lease extension individually, but freehold acquisition must be undertaken by groups of at least two flat owners.
It is possible to negotiate informally with freeholders outside the legislation, which means that even those not eligible can often still take part.
Although the criteria can be summarised simply, the various Acts’ rules are quite complex and each case is different.
If you are not already in contact with Leasehold Solutions regarding a particular transaction, please contact us to determine whether you are eligible for lease extension or freehold acquisition.
For further information on extending your lease or buying your freehold, please call us free of charge on 0808 1311 109. If you are calling from a mobile, please dial 020 3327 1177. Alternatively, email us or complete an online enquiry form.