Basildon was effectively created in 1948 as a new town in order to accommodate the overspill population from London after the Second World War. It originally consisted of four villages: Pitsea, Laindon, Basildon and Vange. Today, though, the town is home to more than 100,000 people and is far more of an urban centre than its original village heritage suggests.
In fact, Basildon is one of the most densely populated areas in the country, partly due to the large number of flats in the town. Although some of these flats are rented by the tenants, a great number are at is known as “long leasehold” properties, essentially owned by the leaseholder with a term that was originally granted for at least 21 years.
PROBLEMS WITH SHORT LEASES
When you come to sell your flat, if you’ve got less than 60 years left on your lease, you may be surprised to find how difficult it is to sell – in particular with such a short lease term, your flat will probably be un-mortgageable. When it comes to remortgaging or selling, you really will have major problems.
Given that a significant number of the flats and apartments in Basildon were built in the 70s and 80s, usually with a term of 99 years, that means that many of those flats have a relatively short lease and are going to get increasingly hard to sell. For example, say flat was built in 1975 – that’s 39 years ago, which means there are only 60 years left on the lease.
THE ANSWER TO YOUR SHORT LEASE PROBLEM
Most flat owners don’t realise they have the legal right to force their freeholder to grant them an additional 90 years on top of the current lease.. There is no requirement that you need to have ever lived in the flat – simply that you have owned it for at least two years.
Exercising your legal right to get additional 90 years on top of the current lease is achieved by going through a formal legal procedure – although as an alternative, it is possible to negotiate directly with the freeholder, and come to a claimant to extend the lease informally, potentially for a much shorter period than 90 years.
However the timing, negotiations and legal arrangements for lease extension can prove very tricky – particularly if you’re working with an awkward freeholder who wants to try and drag the process out, especially when your lease is approaching the critical 80 year point – after which the price of lease extension rises significantly.
Regardless of whether you’re thinking of making a formal statutory application or coming to an informal arrangement with your freeholder, you’re going to need a solicitor – and it’s really important that you pick one who specialises in leasehold extension work.
CAN I USE MY LOCAL SOLICITOR?
There is absolutely nothing stopping you using your local solicitor – but before you do, it’s really worth asking them one simple question –
“How many lease extensions have you completed in the last year?”
Why, because the vast majority of solicitors only come across lease extensions once in a blue moon – if at all. So they probably have very real experience of this tricky area of law.
EXTENDING YOUR LEASE – WHY NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME
Although in principle, you can extend your lease at any time, for most people, we strongly encourage them to do so sooner rather than later. But why?
- Your lease extension is getting steadily more expensive
You are currently being hit in two directions – not only will the premium you have to pay to extend your lease steadily increase as the remaining term of your lease drops, but with rising house prices, that will also increase the cost of your lease extension. In fact, one major freehold company recently estimated that the cost of lease extensions in London was going up by a staggering 12% a year. If this continues, you, you will have to pay double for lease extension in under seven years – that’s not a great incentive for you to extend your lease now, we don’t know what is
- Lease extension solves your short lease problem and will make selling your flat much easier
Buyers simply prefer long leases – so if you’re thinking of selling, and your lease is comparatively short (probably with a remaining term of anything below 70 or 75 years), there without a lease extension, you will attract far fewer potential purchasers , and will almost certainly achieve a much lower price
- Mortgage lenders increasingly avoid short leases
There’s been a real trend in the last few years, for mortgage lenders to significantly tighten their criteria or it comes to lease or property. In particular. Many now don’t lend on any remotely short lease – so whereas it was relatively easy to get a mortgage on a flat with say 50 or 60 years left 10 years ago, any potential buyer may now struggle to get a mortgage offer to buy a flat with say 70 [or even 80 years!] left on the term
- A lease extension takes time
if you’re thinking of selling your flat at sometime in the future, our strong advice is to get your lease extension sorted out now. Why – if you have to go down the statutory route, which we normally recommend. If you’re looking to sell a flat in the near future, then that can take up to 6 months – and you won’t want that kind of delay when you found your new dream home
YOUR BASILDON LEASE EXTENSION – HOW OUR TEAM CAN HELP
• With experience of many thousands of lease extension extensions for leaseholders and freeholders alike, our team have all the specialist experience you need. We have one of the top teams in the country, and lease extension work is all they do.
• Our team provide FREE initial telephone advice – just phone FREEPHONE 0800 1404544
• We have developed a network of specialist lease extension surveyors nationwide with we regularly work – and can introduce you to a specialist surveyor local to you who will be able to accurately value your lease extension – like solicitors, leasehold extension surveyors need to be specialists.
• We prepare all the necessary legal documents and notices and managed the tricky timetable involved
CONSIDERING A LEASE EXTENSION IN BASILDON? CONTACT OUR EXPERTS TODAY
Our specialist team have helped many thousands clients with their lease extensions over the last 25 years. And when it comes to extending your lease, it doesn’t matter where you live in England and Wales – we can help. In fact we deal almost all of our extension clients solely through telephone, email or Skype video.
And what’s more – initial phone advice from specialist team is FREE – so why not give us a call now?
• Simply, phone us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or,
• Fill out the email contact form below