The vast majority of flats in the UK are leasehold, as are a large number of houses, particularly those built in the last 25 years on new developments. This means that rather than owning the property and the land it sits on, you own the right to exclusively occupy the property for the period stated in the lease; the lease term. The lease will grant rights to and impose obligations on both the leaseholder and the freeholder.
Lease terms vary between properties, common lengths of lease term being 99, 125 and 999 years. In certain circumstances it is possible to extend the lease term once you have owned a leasehold property for more than 2 years. You may also have the right to acquire the freehold either by yourself or collectively with other flat owners.
If you are considering buying or selling a leasehold property, it is vital that you seek legal advice as the procedure is usually far more complex than with a freehold property and it is easy to overlook something important if you are unsure of what you are doing.
Leasehold transactions usually require liaison with third parties, either obtaining information for the benefit of the purchaser when selling or complying with post completion lease requirements when buying.
Farleys’ residential property lawyers regularly advise on all aspects of leaseholds and can draft bespoke leasehold documents to meet your requirements.
Our solicitors and conveyancers can advise on important details including:
- Whether there is ground rent payable
- Any other service charges that may be payable
- The remaining lease term
- What responsibilities come with the lease
- What restrictions are imposed by the lease
- What to do if you want the lease extended
- What to do if you want to acquire the freehold
Our property disputes department can also deal with any disputes that have arisen in relation to leasehold properties.