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Lease today, gone tomorrow

31 January 2019

Mark Walton

lease

Unlike other areas in the Country, Sheffield sees a lot of leasehold properties which on the face of it is nothing to worry about.  A leasehold property will mean that a nominal ground rent is paid to the person who owns the ground that the property sits on.  Where a residential house is held under a lease, you normally see a very nominal ground rent of anything from a few pence to a few hundred pounds.  A lease will be for a set number of years which is agreed when the lease is granted this could be when you purchase or could have been 100 years ago.  When the lease term comes to an end strictly speaking the land and property is handed back to the land owner.

The usual leases which we see during the Conveyancing process are for a considerable amount of time and will not cause any problems for you or your mortgage lender.  Issues arise where the term remaining on the lease is less than 80 years. The majority of mortgage lenders will require that the lease term is in excess of 80 years and so this can cause problems when the lease has less time than this to run.

There is a legal right for any person who has owned a property for two or more years to apply to the land owner for an extension of the lease or to purchase the freehold from them.  Although this legal right is in place, the process can be lengthy and as a result can cause serious delays if the issue is only brought to light during the course of the Conveyancing transaction.

If you know that you own a leasehold property then we would suggest that you check the term of years remaining on your lease in order to avoid any issues if or when you sell.  We are happy to undertake a review of your lease for you and provide you with a quotation for acting for you should you need your lease extending or wish to purchase your freehold.

If you are purchasing a leasehold property then do not worry.  There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding leases and as experienced property lawyers we would never allow you to invest in a property if we consider there to be fundamental legal implications in doing so.  Although the majority of leases may also contain restrictions on things such as altering the property or using it for anything other than as a residential home, so long as you comply with the provisions of the lease after your purchase then you should not experience any legal issues when selling the property.  Your lawyer will advise you at the time of purchase of the terms of the lease and point out to you any restrictions which affect the property.  Although you maybe restricted in what alterations can be made to the property this is normally only that these cannot be made without the landlord’s consent.

Taylor Bracewell will guide you through the Conveyancing process and explain everything in a plain and easy to understand manner.

If you are considering selling or purchasing a property, whether leasehold or freehold then give us a call.