Buying, selling or running a home – everything you need to know about your home and garden!

Lease extension on freehold property

Sharon writes;

I am purchasing one of six flats in a conversion property (due to exchange this week). I am buying a share of the freehold but the lease is 71 years now. My solicitor said that as we are not renewing the lease at the same time there may be a problem with this after and if we can’t renew it the flat may be unsellable.

Is this the case and what are the obstacles that may prevent us from renewing it? All the flats have 71 years and nobody has applied to renew yet.

Sharon, this is an interesting question. My area of expertise is not in this field, so I’ve done some research and come up with the following:

  1. The shorter a lease is, the more problematic selling your flat will be once you come to sell it. This is not because of any legal implications; more to the point is the fact that banks won’t lend money (mortgage) for a property that has a short lease. “Short” in this instance is usually anything less than 80 years.
  2. It is possible to extend a lease under the terms of the Leasehold Reform (Housing & Urban Development) Act 1993.

My suggestion would be to approach a solicitor who has more knowledge of this in order to get full and frank advice.

More reading:

Not much direct advice from me, sorry. Well, I hope that this answer helps a bit!