St John's Wood Lease Extension - Free Consultation

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Why you should start your St John's Wood lease extension


Main reasons to start your St John's Wood lease extension today:

A St John's Wood leasehold property depreciates with the years remaining on the lease.

Chances are that if you own a flat in St John's Wood you actually own a long leasehold interest over your property

An extended lease has roughly the same value as a freehold

Leasehold premises in St John's Wood with more than 100 years left on the lease are sometimes regarded as a ‘virtual freehold’. This is where the lease value the same as a freehold interest in your premises. In such situations there is often little upside in buying the freehold unless savings on ground rent and maintenance charges merit it.

Mortgage lenders may not loan monies on a short lease

The definition of a short lease depends on the specific mortgage company, yet banks and building societies start to get nervous at around 75 years. This will cause difficulties when you come to dispose of or refinance your flat as it will be practically unmortgageable. Even though you might not have an imminent plan to sell but when you do your buyer will have to hold off for two years before being able to exercise the right to a a lease extension.

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.
Halifax Minimum 70 years from the date of the mortgage.
Leeds Building Society 85 years remaing from the start 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 Originations (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 Originations (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 Originations):
- 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 Originations (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
- Starting Ground Rent greater than 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period less than or equal to 5 years
- 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

Refer to Originations (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Ground Rent is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent is linked to the value of the building*
- 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 Originations):
- 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
- Starting Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than 5 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

* 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
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 St John's Wood lease extension solicitors or enfranchisement solicitors

Lease extensions in St John's Wood can be a difficult process. We recommend you secure professional help from a conveyancer and valuer with experience in this area.

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 in-depth market knowledge procuring St John's Wood lease extensions and further afield, as well as any potential issues which may arise as well as problems with the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

St John's Wood Lease Extension Case Studies:

Reuben, St John's Wood, London

Twenty four months ago Reuben, started to get close to the 80-year threshold with the lease on his leasehold flat in St John's Wood. Having bought his home two decades ago, the lease term was of minimal importance. As luck would have it, he became aware that he needed to take steps soon on a lease extension. Reuben arranged for a lease extension just ahead of time in June. Reuben and the freeholder ultimately agreed on the final figure of £6,000 . If the lease had dipped lower than 80 years, the price would have become more exhorbitant by at least £925.

St John's Wood case:

In 2010 we were contacted by Mrs F Dupont who, having purchased a first floor flat in St John's Wood in October 2011. The question was if we could approximate the compensation to the landlord could be to prolong the lease by ninety years. Similar homes in St John's Wood with an extended lease were valued around £168,800. The average amount of ground rent was £60 collected every twelve months. The lease ended on 13 November 2076. Taking into account 55 years left we estimated the compensation to the freeholder for the lease extension to be between £31,400 and £36,200 plus professional charges.

Decision in Camden

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a St John's Wood premises is Garden Flat 195 Goldhurst Terrace in May 2012. The Tribunal held in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be £60,855.00. This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 60.16 years.