With the property market being in the doldrums recently a lease extension is an effective way to increase the value of your home.
Do I have an automatic right to extend my lease?
Yes after two years of ownership. Although a landlord may agree before then but they are not obliged to do so. Wherever possible it is best to discuss an extension with your landlord. If terms and price cannot be agreed, you will still have an option to go to court, but only as a last resort because of the expense and delay.
When is the best time to extend my lease?
The cheapest time is when you have at least 80 years left on your lease. It becomes more expensive as the term decreases. Once it reaches 70 years many lenders will not mortgage or remortgage the property. The value of your current lease compared to new one will also be a factor in the valuation.
If I have a long lease on a house can I convert it to freehold?
Yes the procedure is different but it is possible.
Can I obtain an extension before I buy a property?
Yes by agreement with the current owner and their landlord.
Are courts still open?
Only 75 English courts are completely closed. 159 are open to the public and a further 117 courts are staffed but not accessible to the public. The majority of the accessible courts are magistrates and Crown Courts. Uxbridge Combine Court centre is fully functioning along with Isleworth Crown Court, Ealing Magistrates court. Family and probate courts in West London and central London respectively, are available but busy.
All the above responses have been simplified and shortened for expediency. If you have any comments or queries, contact Austins Solicitors. As an accredited firm we can advise you in detail to your specific situation.