Confusion sometimes arises when Conveyancing London properties with 999 year leases.
In terms of value, 999 year leases are often worth nearly the same as the freehold and lenders consider them more or less the same.
Nevertheless, many are confused by the 999 year lease with "why not just make the property a freehold" being a commonly asked question.
It tends to be the case that the property developer is not concerned with retaining any involvement with the property and it was initially created as leasehold to create and preserve an overall central management entity of the building that enforces adherence and contributions from the leaseholders. For example property maintenance. e.g. where a roof needs replacing and everyone would be expected to contribute or for ensuring service charges on the building are always collected.
Freehold flats are very rare and it would be hard to get a mortgage in this case (see our article on freehold flats)
Fridaysmove recently handled the conveyancing of a London Flat with a 999 year lease in Tower Hamlets, East London, E14. Katie Clark, a London Conveyancing specialist in leasehold, was instructed by Mr and Mrs T to act on the acquisition of the long lease on Locksons Close, London, E14.
The seller's Conveyancing Solicitor, TLT LLP based at 20 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7JE were in receipt of additional conveyancing immediately upon receipt of sales memos.
Office Copies indicated multiple mortgages on the flat and we confirmed that the owner wasn't in negative equity and was in a position to pay off these mortgages.
Searches were promptly returned by the, Tower Hamlets Council at the Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London, E14 2BG.
The vendor's estate agent was Bairstow Eves on 67 Barking Road, Canning Town, London, E16 4HB and the matter exchanged on 7 December.
Leasehold Conveyancing in London is often more involved than with freehold properties as it can involve corresponding with many more parties and the leases themselves (many of which are over 100 years old) need detailed investigation to ensure that they are not defective.