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Advice for Purchasers of Flats with Short Leases

You should read these web pages, if you are a prospective purchaser of a flat with a short lease. A short lease is one where the lease term has less than 85 years unexpired. Many prospective purchasers are simply unaware that a short lease term has a significant impact on the valuation of a flat. It is advisable to obtain a lease extension whenever a lease has slipped below 85 years unexpired and certainly before the lease drops below 80 years.

Unfortunately there is no legal right to obtain a lease extension until you have owned the flat you are considering purchasing for at least two years. However if the person you are purchasing from (the vendor) has owned the property for at least two years, they will be in a position to serve a formal Notice of Claim under the Leasehold Reform, Housing & Urban Development Act 1993. Provided the Notice of Claim is served prior to legal completion and is correctly assigned by way of a Deed of Assignment you will not have to wait for two years to elapse, before you can compel the freeholder to grant you an extended lease.

Mike Stapleton & Company can help you obtain a lease extension. In the first instance we will carry out a valuation to determine the reasonable premium you should expect to pay to gain a statutory lease extension. You are entitled to a 90- year extension and any ground rent payable under the terms of the existing lease will cease to be paid. We will then be able to prepare a formal Notice of Claim for service upon the freeholder and prepare the Deed of Assignment to transfer the legal interest of the Notice of Claim to you on completion.

Our fees for dealing with these matters will depend upon a number of factors. As all cases are different, please contact us for a quotation. In many cases prospective purchasers instruct us to undertake a Homebuyer Report or a Building Survey, in conjunction with the valuation for a lease extension. Combining these two tasks, will lead to a discount on our normal fees.

Please take a look at our client testimonials to see what our customers think of us. Or for a free informal discussion please call Mike Stapleton FRICS on 01702 562072 between 9am and 7pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively if you prefer please click here to direct your query to us by e-mail.


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