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Why you should start your West Hampstead lease extension


Why you should commence your West Hampstead lease extension today:

A West Hampstead lease depreciates with the years remaining on the lease.

It’s a harsh truth that a West Hampstead residential lease is a wasting asset. As the lease term diminishes so does the value of the property. The extent of this is not fully appreciated in the first few years due to the depreciation being disguised by increases in the West Hampstead property market.Where your lease has approximately ninety years left, 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. The majority of leasehold owners in West Hampstead will be able to extend under the legislation; however a conveyancer will be able to confirm if you qualify for an extension. In some cases you may not be entitled. There are also strict timetables and procedures to be adhered to once the process has commenced and you will need to be guided by your lawyer throughout the process.

An extended lease is almost the same value as a freehold

It is generally considered that a property with over 100 years unexpired lease term is worth approximately the same as a freehold. Where an further 90 years added to any lease with more than 45 years unexpired, the residence will be equivalent in value to a freehold for many years ahead.

Lending institutions will not lend with a short lease

Lenders are really restricting their approach as regards to properties in West Hampstead with short leases. For instance you might discover that their lending requirements are stricter and that they alter interest rates depending on the unexpired lease term. Some may even refrain from lending completely, so if you needed to sell, your remaining options would be to find a cash purchaser, or try your luck at auction thus restricting your market.

Lender Requirement
Accord Mortgages 85 years from the date of completion of the mortgage. Please ensure that you explain the implications of a short term lease to the borrower.
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.
Santander You must report the unexpired lease term to us and await our instructions if:
1. the unexpired term assumed by our valuer is between 55 and 82 years, but the actual unexpired term differs by more than one year (whether longer or shorter); or
2. the unexpired term assumed by our valuer is more than 82 years but the actual unexpired term is less than 82 years; or
3. no valuation report is provided
However, we will not accept a lease where on expiry of the mortgage:
(i) less than 50 years remain and all or part of the loan is repaid on an interest-only basis: or
(ii) less than 30 years remain and the loan is repaid on a capital and interest basis

We will accept a lease that has been extended under the provisions of the Leasehold Reform Act 1993 provided statutory compensation would be available to the leaseholder.
TSB Minimum of 70 years at mortgage commencement, with 30 years remaining at mortgage redemption.

What makes us experts in West Hampstead lease extensions?

The conveyancers that we work with handle West Hampstead 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 lawyer we work with provide it.

West Hampstead Lease Extension Case Summaries:

Ellie, West Hampstead, North London,

Trailing unsuccessful discussions with the freeholder of her purpose-built apartment in West Hampstead, Ellie initiated the lease extension process just as her lease was approaching the all-important 80-year threshold. The transaction completed in April 2009. The landlord’s fees were restricted to approximately 600 GBP.

West Hampstead case:

Mr I Mitchell took over the lease of a newly refurbished apartment in West Hampstead in August 2004. We are asked if we could approximate the compensation to the landlord could be for a ninety year extension to my lease. Comparative properties in West Hampstead with an extended lease were valued around £235,200. The average amount of ground rent was £45 invoiced monthly. The lease ran out in 2089. Having 66 years left we estimated the compensation to the landlord for the lease extension to be between £12,400 and £14,200 exclusive of expenses.

Decision in Barnet

An example of a Lease Extension case for a West Hampstead property is Flat A 372 Cricklewood Lane in January 2013. The Tribunal decided that the premium for the extended lease should be £5,750.00 and that the terms of the new lease should be those set out in annex to the decsion This case affected 1 flat.