Covent Garden Lease Extension - Free Consultation

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Why you should start your Covent Garden lease extension


Main reasons to commence your Covent Garden lease extension today:

A Covent Garden lease depreciates with the years remaining on the lease.

It’s an underpublicised truth that a Covent Garden residential lease is a wasting asset. The lease value drops in proportion to its lease length. The extent of this is not fully appreciated in the first few years due to the depreciation being disguised by increases in the Covent Garden property market.Once your lease gets to 85ish years, you need to start considering a lease extension. An important point to note is that it is desirable for lease extension to take place before the term of the existing lease falls under eighty years - otherwise a higher amount will be payable. Most leasehold owners in Covent Garden will be able to extend under the legislation; however a conveyancer should be able to clarify whether you are eligibility. In some cases you may not qualify. There are also strict timeframes and procedures to follow once the process has commenced and you will need to be guided by your lawyer for the duration of the formalities.

Covent Garden property with a lease extension has roughly the same value as a freehold

It is generally accepted that a property with more than 100 years remaining is worth roughly the same as a freehold. Where an additional ninety years added to any lease with more than 45 years remaining, the premises will be worth the same as a freehold for many years in the future.

Banks and Building Societies may decide not to grant a mortgage with a short lease

Banks and Building Societies have specific criteria when lending funds secured on leasehold homes. Many will simply not lend at all once an unexpired lease term slips below a certain unexpired lease term. Many Lending institutions will not consider property with a remaining term of less than seventy years as acceptable security. In addition to this being important when selling, it is also relevant where you are wanting to remortgage your Covent Garden property.

Lender Requirement
Barclays plc Leases with less than 70 years at the commencement of the mortgage should be declined (see exception below).

Leases with greater than 70 years but fewer than 85 years remaining must be referred to issuing office.

Leases with fewer than 70 years should only be referred to the issuing office where the following scenario applies, as discretion may be applied subject to bank approval:

• Property is located in any of the following prestigious developments: Cadogan, Crown, Grosvenor, Howard de Walden, Portman or Wellcome Trust Estates in Central London AND
• The value of the property subject to the short remaining term is £500,000 or more AND
• The loan to value does not exceed 90% for purchases, 90% like for like re-mortgages, 80% for re-mortgages with any element of capital raising and 80% for existing Barclays mortgage borrowers applying for additional borrowing;
Godiva Mortgages A minimum of 70 years unexpired lease at completion for all scheme types apart from Lifetime Mortgages (Equity Release), which require a minimum unexpired term of 80 years at completion.
Skipton Building Society 85 years from the date of completion of the mortgage

For Buy to Let cases:
- lettings must not breach any of the lessee’s covenants; and
- consent of the lessor to lettings must be obtained if necessary
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 0.5% 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 0.5% 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 Covent Garden lease extension solicitors or enfranchisement solicitors

Lease extensions in Covent Garden can be a difficult process. We recommend you obtain professional help from a lawyer and surveyor well versed in the legislation and lease extension process.

We provide you with an expert from a selection of lease extension solicitors, which ensures a targeted and efficient service as you have a dedicated port of call with an individual lawyer. Our lease extension solicitors have a wealth of experience procuring Covent Garden lease extensions and further afield, as well as any potential issues which may arise as well as problems with the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

Covent Garden Lease Extension Case Summaries:

Shannon, Covent Garden, London,

Trailing protracted negotiations with the freeholder of her studio flat in Covent Garden, Shannon commenced the lease extension process just as the lease was coming close to the critical eighty-year deadline. The legal work was finalised in March 2014. The freeholder’s charges were kept to an absolute minimum.

Covent Garden case:

Last Winter we were called by Mr Kyle Patel , who moved into a one bedroom flat in Covent Garden in August 2001. The question was if we could estimate the price could be to extend the lease by a further 90 years. Comparable flats in Covent Garden with 100 year plus lease were in the region of £255,000. The mid-range ground rent payable was £50 collected yearly. The lease ended on 17 March 2092. Given that there were 70 years as a residual term we approximated the compensation to the freeholder for the lease extension to be between £9,500 and £11,000 plus legals.

Decision in Hounslow

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Covent Garden premises is 20 Avonwick Road in July 2013. The Tribunal was dealing with an application under Section 26 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 for a determination of the freehold value of the property. It was concluded that the price to be paid was Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy (£15,970) divided as to £8,200 for Flat 20 and £7,770 for Flat 20A This case related to 1 flat. The number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 73.26 years.