More leasehold enfranchisement activity? The right time for a lease extension?

There’s an interesting poll currently taking place on the Leasehold Enfranchisement Group of LinkedIn [the business orientated social media platform]. According to today’s survey of specialist lease enfranchisement and lease extension solicitors and surveyors, 76% said they had noticed more enfranchisement activity compared with this time last year, with 5% reckoning it was about the same and just 17% noticing a slowdown in their workload.

And why is that I wonder? It could be the sign of a property market that is slowly starting to show some feeble signs of recovery – or it could alternatively be a sign that leaseholders feel now is the right time to proceed with collective enfranchisement or lease extensions – with the housing market generally remaining at a very low state with prices of property remaining depressed – which means, of course, that any lease extension is likely to cost less than it will do when prices eventually start to climb up again.

Our advice – now is the right time to extend your lease.

Looking for specialist UK Lease Extension Solicitors? Contact us today

If you want to extend your lease before house prices go up, you are going to need a specialist solicitor to help you. Our UK lease extension solicitors have the experience and expertise you need, so:

  • Call us on 01722 422300, or
  • Send us an email via the contact form below.

    Freehold Purchase or Lease Extension

    Freehold Purchase – more desirable but often less practical?

    Although Freehold Purchase, also known as Collective or Leasehold Enfranchisement, offers more control to the Leaseholder in a building than Lease Extension alone, the practicalities are often prohibitive, such as having to join the board of the Nominee Purchaser company.

    With Collective Enfranchisement comes the challenge of participation, whereby in order to issue the Claim Notice required to commence the process, a high proportion of Leaseholders (flat owners) must buy-in and sign up. This can result in each participant paying up to twice the cost of an equivalent Leasehold Extension and although special ‘gap’ funding of non-participants exists, it can be complex and lead to conflicts of interest.  Exercising the freehold right to buy can be costlier again if the Freeholder of the building (landlord or managing agent) is compensated for lost development potential, e.g. spare land, roof spaces or mobile phone mast sites.

    Extending your lease – an easier alternative?

    A more appealing alternative is often ‘bulk’ UK Lease Extension –where a number of individual leaseholders come together to apply for their lease extensions at the same time. One of the main advantages of bulk leasehold extensions is that the difficulty in reaching the required participation level is largely diminished – as bulk lease extension can proceed with any number of Leaseholders who, in acting together, will be able to leverage better negotiation and there is an additional cost saving potential. Additionally, if negotiation with the Freeholder can be done informally or ‘outside the Act’ this may prove cheaper and is also more likely to go ahead than buying the freehold . The Freeholder benefits from an increase in ground rent and the Leaseholders from a lower and possibly an extension of less than the statutory 90 years, which would also include those in the building who have owned flats for less than two years.

    Whatever the collectively agreed way forward, open and honest negotiation should enable any group of Leaseholders to obtain the right result for their circumstances when they are presented with a straight Freehold Purchase or bulk Lease Extensions.

    However, whichever way you decide to progress, do make sure you appoint specialist lease extension solicitors to deal with the legal side, as lease extension is a tricky area of law and one very few property solicitors come across more than very rarely. You can rest assured that our team has the experience to provide you with the lease extension advice you need – contact our experts today who will guide you through the process.

    Thinking of freehold purchase or lease extension? We can help

    Our lease enfranchisement and lease extension specialist solicitors can help extend your lease or purchase the freehold of your block. So, if you are looking for expert legal advice:

    • Call us now on 01722 422300 for FREE phone advice, or
    • Complete the contact form below.