Leasehold conveyancing in London is getting trickier as more and more flats come onto the property market with less than 80 years remaining. In the Eighties property boom, many Victorian properties in Central London were carved up by property developers into flats with 99-year leases.
The 80-year mark is critical. Once a lease is shorter than this, the cost of a lease extension rises significantly, because it is at this point that the valuation takes into account “marriage value” — the notional increase in the value of the property that results from an extension of the lease or the purchase of the freehold. However, even if your lease is below 80 years, you should act fast: the shorter your lease, the more expensive enfranchisement becomes.
Properties with short leases are increasingly getting harder to mortgage. According to LENDERmoniter (a web site which monitors lenders changing requirements to conveyancing solicitors) points out that many lenders would lend on leasehold properties with 50 -55 years remaining, but these days they start at 70 to 75 years. Halifax and Northern Rock has increased their minimum term requirement in recent weeks.
Leasehold owners who are concerned about the length of their lease have two options: extend it (usually for another 90 years), or purchase a share of the freehold. You don’t need to use a London Conveyancing expert do deal with your lease extension but London Conveyancing Experts often understand the London properties very well.
The Fridaysmove London Conveyancing team would be very happy to discuss your options for extending your lease or buying the freehold of your London property.