Leasehold explained

If you buy a leasehold property you are buying the right to live in that property for the number of years left on the lease.

The legal agreement with the landlord (also known as the ‘freeholder’) is called a Lease.

Ownership of the property is returned to the landlord when the Lease comes to an end.

Most flats are Leasehold and houses can be Leasehold too, especially if they are bought through the new shared ownership scheme.

Can I buy the Freehold?

Yes, you have a legal right to buy the freehold if you meet qualifying criteria. Alternatively, it is sometimes possible to negotiate with the Landlord.

What is the length of a Leasehold?

Residential leases are usually long term, normally 99 or 125 years, and can be as high as 999 years. 

Understand Your Lease

It is critical that when buying a Leasehold property you fully understand the contents of the Lease before you sign.  Ensure you are aware of any legal loopholes and particularly onerous terms.

Look out for……….

  • Ground rent and service charges increases
  • The number of years remaining
  • Are there any onerous maintenance obligations?

We are experts when advising on and drafting leases, and can help prevent you entering in to onerous terms. 

It is important to note that it has recently been announced the Minister for Housing has declined to help families stuck in toxic leaseholds unable to sell due to unfair contracts.

Don’t get caught out – Understand Your Lease

Contact our Property Team for more information