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Five Dos and Don’ts When it Comes to Leasehold Properties

By Maurice Shasha  //  Mon 27th February 2023
Leasehold properties make up a fifth of UK housing stock - but if you live in a London flat, the chances are it’s leasehold. Under the Leasehold Reform and Urban Development Act 1993, most leaseholders have a statutory right to extend their lease, and it is something you should consider as the years on your lease decrease.
Leasehold Dos and Don'ts

Leasehold properties make up a fifth of UK housing stock - but if you live in a London flat, the chances are it’s leasehold. Under the Leasehold Reform and Urban Development Act 1993, most leaseholders have a statutory right to extend their lease, and it is something you should consider as the years on your lease decrease.

According to property solicitor Amber Krishnan-Bird: “Extending a lease can add potentially tens of thousands of pounds onto a property whatever the state of the market.”

If you are thinking of extending your lease, or purchasing a leasehold property, the Evening Standard has some advice.

1. Beware of leasehold property bargains

Be careful of prime London properties at a price that seems too good to be true. It may reflect a very short lease that will be very costly and tricky to extend.

2. Do everything by the book

An informal arrangement with your freeholder might seem like a way to save time and money but may not be covered by the act, leading to problems later on.

3. Choose a specialist solicitor

Check that your solicitor is a member of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners who have the specialist knowledge to navigate the complex area of leaseholder law.

4. Don’t let your lease drop below 80 years

If you do, you will be subject to the ‘marriage value’, meaning your freeholder will be entitled to 50 per cent of the increase in the value of the property once its lease is extended.

5. Wait for leasehold reform - if you can

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has pledged to reform the leasehold system so all eligible leaseholders will have the right to extend by 990 years. If you have time left on your lease, wait for further announcements. 

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