Property Disputes Q&A – Part 2

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Q. I have a lease of a flat which has about 60 years left to run. Should I be concerned about this?

A. A lease is a diminishing asset. Its term will inevitably dwindle away. The problem with flat leases that have fewer than 60 years left on them is that they become hard to sell; that is because banks are reluctant to lend mortgages to buy them. However, provided that you have owned the flat for two years, you are entitled to serve notice on your landlord requiring it to extend your lease by an additional 90 years. You will have to pay for that extension, and a surveyor can tell you how much, but it is likely to be worth it to make your flat a saleable asset once again. The sooner you extend your lease, the cheaper it will be. There are particular savings if you are able to extend it before the term falls below 80 years because the legislation provides that you do not then pay to the landlord a share of the “marriage value”. So if you are wondering when the best time to do it is, the answer is the sooner the better.

Do you have a question relating to property disputes that you would like answered in a future blog? Let us know.

For specific advice on Property Disputes, please contact John Wagstaffe.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.