The Law Commission of England and Wales has called for an urgent shake-up of the leasehold system. If the recommendation became law, certain leasehold property owners will be given a right to extend their lease for up to 990 years, with no ground rent.

Leasehold property has recently come under close scrutiny and media pressure, in particularly, after unfair ground rent and rent reviews have been highlighted for many leasehold properties, including both flats and houses. Escalating ground rents can make selling and mortgaging such properties very difficult and sometimes almost impossible.

The current legislation provides for a statutory procedure for those with leasehold property, who meet the qualifying criteria, to request a lease extension. The procedure and terms of the lease extension will depend on whether the lease is for a flat or a house.

Extending your lease is costly and takes time, requiring you to obtain an independent valuation and to pay your own legal costs and also the landlord’s and for any management company’s costs. The process follows a statutory procedure in which you must adhere to strict timescales. There is still the risk of further extensive legal costs should the matter go as far as being determined in the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

For anyone who owns a leasehold flat or house, and who believes they have a remaining lease term shorter than 90 years, or have an increasing ground rent and ground rent reviews, our specialised property team is on hand. We can advise and guide you through the lease extension procedures and advise on any changes to legislation following the reform proposals that were recently announced.

Contact us today to speak to one of our specialist solicitors.

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