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Why you should start your Belgravia lease extension


Top reasons for lease extension now:

Increase your lease and increase your Belgravia property value

The nearer a domestic lease in Belgravia nears to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. If the residual term has, over one hundred years remaining then this decrease may be negligible however there will become a point in time when a lease has less than eighty years remaining as part of the premium you will incur is what is known as a marriage value. This could be significant. It is the main rational as to why you should consider extending sooner rather than later. The majority of flat owners in Belgravia will meet the qualifying criteria; nevertheless a conveyancing solicitor can confirm if you are eligible for a lease extension. In limited situations you may not qualify, the most frequent reason being that you have not been the owner of the property for two years.

Belgravia property with a lease extension is almost the same value as a freehold

It is conventional wisdom that a residential leasehold with more than 100 years unexpired lease term is worth approximately the same as a freehold. Where an additional ninety years added to any lease with more than 35 years left, the premises will be equivalent in value to a freehold for decades to come.

Lenders may decide not to finance a property with a short lease

Most banks have tightened lending criteria in the last ten years and borrowers are encountering difficulties in arranging funding or re-mortgage against flats with shorter lease terms, particularly under seventy years as they are deemed to be insufficient for lending purposes.

Lender Requirement
Barnsley Building Society 60 years from the date of the mortgage application subject to 35 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term.
Birmingham Midshires Minimum 70 years from the date of the mortgage.
Halifax Minimum 70 years from the date of the mortgage.
The Mortgage Works Minimum unexpired lease term is 70 years with 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term.
Where the unexpired lease term is different to that recorded on the mortgage offer, the following clarifies if we need to be informed:

Second hand property:
- If the unexpired lease term on the offer is 85 years or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 85 years
- if the unexpired lease term on the offer is less than 85 years – advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported
- For equity share applications - advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

New build property:
- If the unexpired lease term stated on the offer is 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house) or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house)
- For equity share applications - always advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

Lease terms such as ground rent and event fees must be reasonable at all times during the term of the lease and adhere to our requirements below. If you’re unsure as to whether the terms of a lease are unreasonable or onerous, please refer the details to us in plain English for Valuer consideration. If the potentially onerous terms are in relation to the ground rent please include the current ground rent figure per annum, how often it will be reviewed and the price structure it will be reviewed against. See the guidance below.

SECOND HAND PROPERTIES

Unacceptable - advise Issuing Office (Will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term less than 70 years
- Less than 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term
- Ground Rent greater than 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent doubles less than every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years) - acceptable if doubles every 20 years or more
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI
- Ground Rent review period less than or equal to 5 years

Refer to Issuing Office (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Unexpired lease term is 70 to 85 years
- Ground Rent greater than 0.1% and less than or equal to 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building*
- Ground Rent review period is greater than 5 and less than 10 years
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 1.0% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything that appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Issuing Office):
- Unexpired lease term greater than 85 years
- Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than or equal to 10 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

NEW BUILD PROPERTIES (includes office conversions)

Unacceptable - advise Issuing Office (will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term less than 125 years on a new build flat or less than 250 years on a new build house
- Any lease which is subject to a ground rent (or annual rent) being charged which is more than on a peppercorn basis
- Any lease which is subject to a ground rent (or annual rent) being reviewed and altered on any review basis or methodology

Refer to Issuing Office (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 1.0% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything else appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Issuing Office):
- Unexpired lease term greater than or equal to 125 years on a new build flat or greater than or equal to 250 years on a new build house
- A lease subject to a peppercorn ground rent (annual rent) charges

For the avoidance of doubt, any new build properties completed but not sold pre 30 June 2022 will only be acceptable if the lease conforms to the above guidance

* Where the Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building, please provide the following:
- How is the value of the block/unit currently calculated and if the assessment relates to the block(s), how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned per property?
- The current valuation and Ground Rent for each unit
- What is the mechanism for future valuations of the block and how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned?
- What is the right of appeal? And is this a documented process within the lease?
- Who bears the cost of the valuation (and appeal) process?
- Confirmation the review period is not less than twenty years

LEASE EXTENSIONS

We require all lease extensions to be completed under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 and to meet the above criteria as a minimum. Where you become aware that it does not meet these requirements, please refer to the Issuing Office
Virgin 85 years at the time of completion. If it's less, we require it to be extended on or before completion.

Get in touch with one of our Belgravia lease extension solicitors or enfranchisement solicitors

Regardless of whether you are a tenant or a landlord in Belgravia,the lease extension experts that we work with will always be happy to discuss any residential leasehold matters and offer you the benefit of their experience and the close ties they enjoy with Belgravia valuers.

Belgravia Lease Extension Case Summaries:

Archie, Belgravia, London

During the course of the last few months Archie, came seriously close to the 80-year threshold with the lease on his basement flat in Belgravia. Having purchased his home two decades ago, the length of the lease was of no concern. Thankfully, he became aware that he would soon be paying an inflated amount for Extending the lease. Archie arranged for a lease extension just under the wire last June. Archie and the landlord who owned the flat above subsequently settled on an amount of £5,000 . If he had missed the deadline, the premium would have gone up by at least £900.

Belgravia case:

Last Christmas we were contacted by Dr Arthur Thompson , who was assigned a lease of a one bedroom apartment in Belgravia in June 2000. The dilemma was if we could estimate the price could be for a ninety year lease extension. Identical premises in Belgravia with 100 year plus lease were in the region of £256,600. The mid-range ground rent payable was £60 invoiced yearly. The lease elapsed in 2076. Considering the 52 years left we calculated the compensation to the freeholder for the lease extension to be within £39,000 and £45,000 exclusive of professional charges.

Decision in Kensington and Chelsea

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Belgravia property is Flat 3 47 Cadogan Square in December 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable to the landord by the leaseholder for the lease extension was £732,935 This case affected 1 flat. The number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 13.33 years.