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Main reasons to start your Luton lease extension


Main reasons to start your Luton lease extension today:

Increase your lease and increase your Luton property value

With a residential leasehold premises in Luton, you effectively rent it for a certain period of time. These days flat leases are usually granted for 99 years or 125. Even though this may appear like a lengthy period of time, you may think about a lease extension sooner rather than later. Accepted thinking is that the shorter the number of years is the cost of extending the lease gets disproportionately more expensive particularly when there are less than eighty years left. Leasehold owners in Luton with a lease nearing 81 years left should seriously think of extending it as soon as possible. When the lease term has under eighty years remaining, under the current statute the freeholder can calculate and levy a larger premium, assessed on a technical computation, strangely termed as “marriage value” which is payable.

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

Leasehold residencies in Luton with over 100 years left on the lease are often referred to as ‘virtual freehold’. This is where the lease value the same as a freehold interest in your premises. In such situations there is often little to be gained by buying the freehold unless savings on ground rent and service charges justify it.

Banks and Building Societies will not issue a mortgage with a short lease

Lenders are tightening their criteria and a meaningful number now require flats to have at least sixty if not seventy years left at the expiry of the mortgage. Considering a number of flats in Luton were created in the fifties, sixties and seventies this means many now require lease extensions if they if they are to be mortgageable.

Lender Requirement
Coventry Building Society 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.
Halifax Minimum 70 years from the date of the mortgage.
Leeds Building Society 85 years remaing from the start of the mortgage.
Nationwide Building Society - Our minimum unexpired lease term is 55 years.
- There must be at least 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term (regardless of the length of lease at the start).

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 55 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 is 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 55 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 (does not apply to Shared Ownership)
- 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 charged which is more than on a peppercorn basis

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 Issuing Office.
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

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

The conveyancing solicitors that we work with handle Luton lease extensions and help protect your position. A lease extension can be arranged to be completed to coincide with a change of ownership so the costs of the lease extension are paid for using part of the sale proceeds. You really do need expert legal advice in this difficult and technical area of law. The conveyancer we work with provide it.

Luton Lease Extension Example Cases:

Jacob, Luton, Bedfordshire,

Jacob owned a studio flat in Luton on the market with a lease of a few days over sixty years left. Jacob on an informal basis spoke with his freeholder being a well known Bristol-based freehold company for a lease extension. The landlord indicated a willingness to extend the lease to 125 years subject to a new rent initially set at £150 per annum and increase every 25 years thereafter. No ground rent would be payable on a lease extension were Jacob to invoke his statutory right. Jacob obtained expert legal guidance and was able to make an informed decision and handle with the matter and sell the flat.

Luton case:

In 2014 we were phoned by Ms T Morris who, having purchased a one bedroom flat in Luton in October 1996. The dilemma was if we could approximate the price could be to prolong the lease by an additional years. Comparative premises in Luton with 100 year plus lease were valued about £285,000. The mid-range amount of ground rent was £55 billed per annum. The lease terminated on 2 January 2101. Considering the 79 years remaining we estimated the compensation to the freeholder for the lease extension to be between £13,300 and £15,400 exclusive of costs.

Luton case:

Dr Hunter David took over the lease of a one bedroom apartment in Luton in July 2012. We are asked if we could estimate the compensation to the landlord could be for a ninety year extension to my lease. Comparative premises in Luton with an extended lease were in the region of £193,400. The mid-range ground rent payable was £65 invoiced annually. The lease end date was on 17 August 2081. Taking into account 59 years left we calculated the premium to the freeholder to extend the lease to be between £21,900 and £25,200 plus expenses.