Leaseholders, boost your sale prospects by extending your lease

20th April 2017

Anyone in and around Staffordshire cannot help but have noticed the increase in the number of ‘sold’ property signs. According to the property website Zoopla, average house prices in the area rose by 2.94 percent over the last year, but this news comes amid fears of a post-Brexit slowdown in the months to come.

Julie Tomasik of Ansons Solicitors recommends that owners of leasehold houses or flats should be considering how to make their property the most attractive, especially to first time buyers.

One way of achieving this is to extend the leasehold or consider purchasing the freehold to make your property more attractive, especially as the minimum number of years required by mortgage companies is greater than it once was. Most lenders are now looking at a minimum of 70 years remaining on the lease.

A leasehold property is one where someone else owns the land on which the property sits. A freehold house or flat with an extended lease will be much easier to sell than a leasehold house or a flat with a short lease.

“You have the right to buy the freehold or extend the lease after you have owned the property for more than two years,” says Julie.

It is quite easy to find out how many years remain on your lease. The first place to look would be in your property’s title deeds. If you do not have these, then often the freeholder or their agent, who you pay the ground rent to, can tell you. This information can also be obtained from the Land Registry very quickly and at a minimal cost.

While the sale and purchase of the freehold or extension of the lease can take place simultaneously, you may find it advantageous to deal with the lease first to avoid putting prospective buyers off.

This is what Mr and Mrs Stanley decided to do when they wanted to sell their three bedroom semi where they had lived for over 30 years. With just 68 years left of the lease, a local estate agent advised them that buying the freehold would dramatically improve their sale prospects. They were introduced to the conveyancing team at Ansons Solicitors who helped them buy the freehold for a reasonable price within just six weeks.

“Quite honestly, it was all very easy with Ansons. They did all the work with the company that owned the freehold, and sorted all the legal stuff quickly and painlessly!” said Mr Stanley.

The property team at Ansons Solicitors has extensive knowledge of leasehold property, including purchase of freehold and lease extensions. We can also put you in touch with experts who can help you negotiate the purchase of your freehold or lease extension for the correct price.

For further information on extending your lease, please contact Julie Tomasik on 01543 267988 or email Ansons Solicitors has offices in Cannock and Lichfield, Staffordshire.