West Smithfield Lease Extension - Free Consultation

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Why you should start your West Smithfield lease extension


Top reasons for lease extension now:

Increase your lease and increase your West Smithfield property value

Owning a flat usually means owning a lease of the property, this is a ‘time-limited’ interest becoming shorter every day. The lease will ordinarily be granted for a prescribed period of time , ordinarily 99 or 125 years, although we have come across longer and shorter terms in West Smithfield. Inevitably, the period of lease left reduces as time goes by. This is often overlooked and only raises itself as an issue when the flat or house has to be sold or refinanced. The shorter the lease the lower the value of the property and the more expensive it will be to extend the lease. Eligible long lease owners in West Smithfield have the right to extend the lease for an additional ninety years in accordance with statute. Please give careful attention before delaying your West Smithfield lease extension. Holding off that expense now likely increases the price you will eventually incur for a lease extension

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

Leasehold properties in West Smithfield with in excess of one hundred years remaining on the lease are often regarded as a ‘virtual freehold’. This is where the lease value the same as a freehold interest in your home. In such situations there is often little to be gained by buying the freehold unless savings on ground rent and estate charges warrant it.

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

Many banks and building societies require a lengthy amount of time left on a leasehold residence before they will consider it as adequate security. Even if you don't require a mortgage, you should keep in mind that it is reasonable to assume that someone wishing to purchase your property in the future might well do, so in the event that they are not able to secure a mortgage, then the financial worth of the property could be adversely impacted. Since 2008 many mortgage lenders have increased the required minimum lease length that they are willing to grant a mortgage on

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;
Chelsea Building Society 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.
Halifax Minimum 70 years from the date of the mortgage.
TSB Minimum of 70 years at mortgage commencement, with 30 years remaining at mortgage redemption.
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

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

Irrespective of whether you are a tenant or a freeholder in West Smithfield,the lease extension experts that we work with will always be willing to discuss any residential leasehold matters and offer you the benefit of their in-depth market knowledge and the close ties they enjoy with West Smithfield valuers.

West Smithfield Lease Extension Case Studies:

Rhiannon, West Smithfield, London,

Following unsuccessful negotiations with the freeholder of her first floor flat in West Smithfield, Rhiannon started the lease extension process just as the lease was coming close to the all-important 80-year threshold. The lease extension was finalised in April 2009. The landlord’s charges were kept to an absolute minimum.

West Smithfield case:

Dr E Girard acquired a first floor apartment in West Smithfield in June 2012. We are asked if we could estimate the compensation to the landlord could be to extend the lease by a further 90 years. Identical residencies in West Smithfield with 100 year plus lease were worth £205,000. The mid-range ground rent payable was £50 invoiced per annum. The lease ran out on 8 July 2101. Considering the 79 years outstanding we estimated the compensation to the freeholder for the lease extension to be within £7,600 and £8,800 not including legals.

Decision in Camden

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a West Smithfield flat is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case related to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 66.8 years.