The buying and owning of leasehold homes guide outlines what questions to discuss with your developer estate agent, solicitor or developer when you’re considering purchasing leasehold homes, which include:
the remaining years on the lease
If you’ll have the option of extending the lease
If you’ll be able to purchase a portion of the freehold
If you’ll be able to assume the control of the property
the ground rent you’ll need to pay today and in the near future.
the service fee you’ll need to pay
Any restrictions that are stipulated in the lease (for instance, you can’t operate a business from your home, have any pets or make changes)
It could be necessary to start making a move if your lease is less that 85 years.
If you have questions regarding your lease, speak with a lawyer.
How do you define leasehold?
Leasehold is one of the forms of ownership of a home (or tenure).
A lease is a contract with the landlord. The person or business is the landlord or freeholder. The lease outlines the things you are able to and cannot do as the leaseholder.
If you are the owner of leasehold property, you don’t have ownership of the land it is situated on.
If your property is a flat, typically you don’t control the shared parts (like the stairs and hallway) as well as the construction of the structure.
There are two more major types of ownership:
Flats are typically offered in leasehold. Shared ownership homes are always. New construction homes have also been sold with leasehold.
Some homes must be sold on leasehold basis since the developer doesn’t own the freehold.
If you have an apartment that is leasehold the lease you signed will likely require you to be liable for the ground rental to your landlord.
Your lease will outline the amount of ground rent you’ll be required to pay.
Ground rents were usually set to be fixed, and usually lower than £100 per year. However some freeholders and developers have set ground rents higher, and/or creating escalating rents that are increasing in accordance with the terms laid by the lease. This could result in a situation where the ground rent increases dramatically and swiftly.
For instance in your lease, it could be that the ground rent increases each 10 years. This means that the house you purchased in 2019 and had an initial ground rental of £500 each year in 2069, you’d pay an annual sum of £16,000 in ground rent.
It could cause you to pay more than you anticipated. It could also be difficult to get it sold, as some lenders may not wish to lend against this type of lease.
In the event that your rental is higher than 0.1 percent of the value of the property or £250, whichever is greater or if it could rise to this amount, you might be unable to:
Apply for a mortgage
Sell your home
The government is looking into ways it can improve leasehold systems, such as ground rents to make it more equitable to buyers.
For help with lease properties contact Leasehold Services today.
The landlord usually is accountable to maintain and insure the entire structure (although you’ll also insure your possessions). There will be the service fee to pay your portion of the building’s insurance as well as the maintenance costs for the building.
The lease you sign will inform you what amount of the service charge you have to pay in the beginning and also how often. The charge for service is likely to increase each year, based on the work to be accomplished.
Your service charge could have to be pre-paid (based on the amount the landlord thinks repairs and maintenance would cost) or by arrears (after your landlord pays for work). Most often, you pay the amount each half-yearly, based on the estimate then pay a balance charge after the actual cost is known.
Certain leases require leaseholders to deposit money into a reserve or sinking fund every year, in addition to paying the service fee. This fund is to cover items that could cost a significant amount to replace or repair however, they could not require maintenance each year, like the replacement of the lift.
Length of lease
The person who purchases a leasehold property receives the lease for a specific amount of time, usually either 99 years or 125.
Every time the property gets sold, the lease is transferred to the new owner and the lease length decreases.
If the lease you are signing is less than 85 years it could mean:
You cannot get the same amount from a mortgage company, or even get a mortgage in the first place.
Your mortgage interest rate will increase after you refinance and you might not be able to refinance
You find it difficult selling the house
Your property’s value will decrease. home decreases
The longer the lease is and the shorter it is, the more the value will decline.
Extensions to leases can be granted on an informal basis , or on a formal basis.
If your lease runs for 90 years or more You may not wish to extend it right away since this could not be worth the investment in your home.
Prolonging the lease of a property with an informal arrangement
If the freeholder, landlord or tenant has agreed for you to prolong your lease on a formal basis you should consult with a lawyer prior to you can agree on the terms of the lease.
You could pay a lesser price than you would if applying for a formal license and, in some cases, the ground rent can be modified to an escalating rent, meaning you have to pay more and could cause problems selling.
You’ll be required to pay for:
the cost of the landlord’s expenses
A cost (often known as a premium) for the purpose of extending the lease. This will be based on the duration of lease as well as the value of the property, and the rent on the ground
If you seek the advice of a solicitor You’ll also have to pay to get their advice as well as to pay for an assessment.
The extension of leases for an apartment on an official basis
The formal procedure can be complicated and you’ll require the guidance of a valuation expert and a solicitor.
If you live in a house in the city, you’ll likely have the option of extending your lease if
you’ve resided in the home for at minimum two years
the lease initially was for more than 21 years.
the landlord isn’t the charitable housing trust, which provides your home in the course of its work
the lease is for residential purposes and not intended for business use.
You’ll have to pay for:
to determine a value
to get legal advice from an attorney
the cost of renting out
A cost (often known as a premium) to extend your lease. The amount will be based on the duration of your lease the worth of the property as well as the amount of ground rent
The extension is usually for 90 years.
If you’re purchasing a house that has a lease term of not more than 85 years
It is possible to convince for an extension from the vendor prior to when you purchase. It is possible to pay for the cost of this. It is not necessary to accept this, it’s an issue to be discussed.
If your lease is eligible for extension, you’ll not be able to extend it until you’ve owned the property for at least two years.
Your freeholder could be willing to extend the lease before the expiration date. If they do, consult an attorney or an appraiser for guidance, as if you conduct business informally, rather than formally, you’re not likely to be protected by the law regarding the new conditions that the lease has, which includes those that relate to the ground rent.
Extension of lease for the house
If you have a leasehold property then you might have the option of extending the lease in the following circumstances:
the lease originally was for at minimum 21 years.
you’ve been leasing the property for at minimum two years
The lease hasn’t been extended since
The extension is usually at least 50 years.
You might not need to pay a fee in order to renew the lease of your home, but you’ll be required to pay:
to get a value of the lease
to get legal advice from an attorney
the cost of the landlord’s expenses
If you’re considering purchasing a home with a lease that is under 85 years you might consider asking for an extension from the vendor prior to when you purchase. It could be necessary to cover the costs of this.
There is no right to extend the lease yourself until you’ve been the owner of the property for at minimum two years, but your freeholder might accept an extension prior to the time. If you do, seek advice from a lawyer.
If you meet the criteria to extend the lease on your house, you’re likely to be able to satisfy the requirements to purchase the freehold (or the process of enfranchising) that could offer additional benefits. It is recommended to seek professional advice on the potential expenses and advantages.
Covenants and limitations
All kinds of houses are subject to covenants, but they are more likely to have these in leases for flats.
There are two kinds of covenants that leases can have:
Positive covenants are a requirement that someone has to comply with. For instance, the landlord could be required to paint the exterior of the building at least every five years. The tenant is required to pay rent and charges for service.
If your landlord fails to follow the rules of the positive covenant of your lease, consult an attorney for advice on what you should do next.
Restrictive covenants (also known as restrictions) restrict you from doing certain actions that could affect the use and enjoyment of the building by other leaseholders of the building. This could include:
renting out a room , or the entire flat
Laying hard flooring (or replacing carpets)
working from home and running a company
creating noises after certain time periods.
maintaining an animal
performing structural changes or making renovations
Examine the limitations in the lease to make sure that they don’t hinder users from using property the way you prefer.
The lease could state that you are able to request permission to perform something that is prohibited by restrictions. It is necessary to ask the landlord (or the managing agent) for permission (also known as consent) as well as the lease usually states that the landlord has to provide consent when it’s sensible to grant the permission. The landlord is usually charged for this. A lawyer can assist you get permission.
If you don’t adhere to the limitations or the conditions of any agreement your landlord might be able take legal actions against you. They could also pursue action if the ground rent or service fees are not payed.
If you have a house and also have a freehold, you could be able to own a portion of the freehold.
If you do not currently have a share or a share, you might be able to join with other leaseholders to purchase all of the freehold. This is known as leasehold or collective the enfranchisement.
The current procedure is quite complex However, The Law Commission is looking to determine how it can be simplified.
It is necessary to establish an management company along alongside other leaseholders who will acquire the freehold. Each flat-owner who has accepted to apply for enfranchisement holds part of the business. It is recommended that you consult a solicitor for assistance with this.
The advantages having a stake in the freehold are:
Being able to decide the term of leases, and even extend the leases
being able to take collective decisions regarding maintenance and repairs
not paying ground rent
There are a few requirements that must be met to be eligible for this privilege. These rules are very complex and it is recommended to seek expert advice, however generally:
the building must have at the very least two flats
at least two-thirds flats have to be in the possession of tenants with leases that were more than 21 years at the time of first being granted
No tenant is allowed to have greater than 2 flats within the building (either individually or jointly)
at minimum three-quarters of the structure is required to be used for residential use
at least half of eligible tenants must be eligible to be eligible to apply for enfranchisement.
If you are able to meet the criteria then you can ask the landlord for the purchase of the freehold. This can be a bit complicated and be expensive, so it is best to ask an attorney for help.
In the event that you have a leasehold home then you could be able to purchase the freehold. Each situation is unique however, you should meet the criteria:
the lease in question was for at minimum 21 years.
You must have lived in the house for at least two years.
The government is examining ways to make enfranchisement easier and faster, especially for leaseholders. Find out more about the changing.
The power to handle
If you are the owner of a leasehold property it is possible that you could also be eligible for the ability to manage. It means that you and other leaseholders could manage the building by way of an management company, however you won’t be the owner of the freehold.
Leasehold owners of flats can make use of management rights it as an ‘assembly line’ to the path to becoming eligible.
But, it’s another option available to flat owners who aren’t in a position to purchase their freehold for example due to financial constraints. the cost of buying. Should you, along with your leaseholders would like to do this, you should consult a solicitor for advice to determine whether you’re eligible and the amount the cost would be.
Agents in charge
Your landlord could designate a managing agent to oversee the property on their behalf.
The agent is accountable for ensuring that the building is properly maintained and insured and for collecting the service fee.
If you and your fellow leaseholders have the freehold or have the authority to manage the freehold, you can select to name the managing agent on your behalf.
Agents managing the business will be charged for their work. They can also charge for:
Permissions to grant permissions when there are limitations in the lease
giving information to prospective purchasers (about items like fees)
Zero Down Lease
86-90 Paul St, London EC2A 4NE
020 3856 8300