More than 280,000 people call the city of Newcastle home, and if you own a flat in the city, your lease will need to be extended one day. What’s more, did you know that you have the legal right to force your freeholder to extend the term of your lease – by up to an additional 90 years?
Newcastle is the most populous city in the north-east of England, with a booming cultural centre and enormous regeneration having been carried out in the city since its decline from an industrial heartland in the 1970s. As a result, Newcastle and the surrounding area has a large number of leasehold flats as well as some leasehold houses. And the average price of flats in the city in 2016 was £136,778, according to Right Move.
The problems with short leases
The problem with owning any flat or apartment owned under a long lease [i.e. the lease was originally granted for at least 21 years] is that the term of that lease will gradually decline. The shorter the lease the less the property is worth and the harder it is to sell or mortgage.
If your flat or apartment has 85 years or less to run, we strongly suggest you look at extending your lease as soon as possible..
WHY EXTEND MY LEASE NOW?
Your lease can be extended at any time but delaying your lease extension can cause problems later and could turn out to be a lot more expensive than you planned. So why extend your lease now?
• The cost of extend your lease is rising, day by day
In the current economic climate, there are two reasons why putting off your leasehold extension is only costing you more money. Firstly, as your lease gradually gets shorter, it’s getting gradually more expensive, day by day, to extend it. Worse still, with house prices currently rising, that means the value of your property is rising – and one of the factors in assessing the premium for your lease extension is the value of your property. So, the more your flat is worth, the more you have to pay to extend your lease.
In fact, specialist lease extension surveyors in London recently estimated that the cost of extending a lease, in London at least, is going up by whacking 12% each and every year – if that continues, that means that the cost any flat owner will have to have to pay to extend their lease could double in under seven years!
• Extending your lease takes time
Whilst coming to an informal lease extension agreement with your freeholder can sometimes be sorted out relatively quickly – you have no control over the process, and there are some real risks with this voluntary route get a lease extension. The alternative, and the only way to make sure you have control and can ensure you gain that lease extension, is through the formal, or statutory, route. The problem with this. Formal route is that there are certain inbuilt notice periods and as result, it usually takes around six months for your lease extension to be completed. If you’re not thinking of selling up, then it’s not so much of a problem. But if you do come to sell, and have found the new home of your dreams, and then find that you can’t extend your lease in under six months, the whole chain could collapse.
• Extending your lease makes your flat easier to sell
Flats with long lease terms are much easier to sell – purchasers prefer them – and they attract higher prices.
What’s more, mortgage lenders seem to be increasingly reluctant to lend on any property with a short lease –although 20 years ago it was possible to get a mortgage on a flat with say 50 years left, many lenders now refuse to lend, if the term is below 70 or even 80 years. So even if your flat was built fairly recently, say in 1970 with a original 99 year lease, any prospective buyer will find it nearly impossible to get a mortgage to fund the purchase.
DO I REALLY NEED A SPECIALIST SOLICITOR FOR MY LEASE EXTENSION?
You might think that it’s really easy to extend your own lease. After all, you only need to ask your freeholder, right? In fact, many freeholders will refuse to cooperate or will drag out negotiations to the point where they hope leaseholders will simply give in. For example, when the remaining term of a lease is approaching the 80 year point, it’s not unusual for unscrupulous freeholders to go slow with the clear aim of letting the lease drop below the 80-year mark – when they can charge you an additional premium to extend your lease – which will cost you thousands of pounds.
Although it involves a complex area of law, extending a lease doesn’t need to be a nightmare if you instruct a specialist solicitor – to help you through what can be tricky legal process which requires patience, experience and expertise.
By appointing one of our team as your solicitor, you can rest assured that your lease extension is being dealt with by a genuine specialist. They don’t dabble – extending leases is all they do.
TO SUM UP – OUR ADVICE
In short, our advice is simple – don’t delay – extend your lease now.
YOUR NEWCASTLE LEASE EXTENSION – HOW WE CAN HELP
With over 25 years experience in many thousands of lease extension extensions for leaseholders and freeholders alike, we have the expertise to make sure your lease extension goes smoothly;
• We offer FREE initial telephone advice – just call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544
• We work with the only Newcastle-based surveyor who really understands how to value your lease – like solicitors, lease extension surveyors need to be specialists. Very few surveyors are able to value the premium required for lease extension accurately. We are happy to instruct him on your behalf to value your lease extension – as part of our one-stop shop service
• We manage your lease extension timetable
• We draft all the legal documents and notices
• If there is a dispute regarding your lease extension, we can take the matter to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal [ recently re-titled the ”First-tier tribunal – Property Chamber (Residential Property)] – but only if it’s strictly necessary, which thankfully it very rarely is.
1 KEY QUESTION
If you’re still not sure whether you need our specialist team – maybe you have a long-standing Newcastle-based solicitor you really like – just ask them once in question. “How many lease extensions have a completed the last year?”
THINKING OF A LEASE EXTENSION IN NEWCASTLE? CALL OUR SPECIALISTS NOW
Over the last 25 years, our solicitors have been involved in many thousands of lease extensions – for clients throughout England and Wales. For most all of our lease extension work, we deal with clients solely through telephone, email or Skype.
And don’t forget – initial phone advice from experts is FREE – so what have you got to lose?
• Simply, call our team now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or,
• Fill out the email contact form below
Comments or questions are welcome.