Whilst the battle with COVID-19 rages on outside and activity within the housing market is quiet, now is a good time for leaseholders to use this opportunity to get their current lease in a good and marketable condition ready for when the market springs back to life.
Whilst in lockdown, leaseholders have the perfect opportunity to dust off their title deeds and take a look at the length of their lease and finally get round to speaking to a specialist about how to extend the lease or even purchase their freehold with other leaseholders in the block.
The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) have reported a sharp rise in activity on their website during lockdown (almost 25% more traffic) meaning that now more than ever, leaseholders are searching for solutions simply because they have the time to do so.
For some leaseholders, extending their lease can be one of those jobs on the list that they just never get around to. As the lease is a depreciating asset, the longer a leaseholder waits to extend their lease, the more expensive it will become. It is as simple as that and so waiting until the market normalises will not always the best option when it comes to leasehold.
The leasehold enfranchisement process (the process by which leases are extended or freeholds bought) can take some time and organisation to get off the ground. Now that some leaseholders have more time to think about how to better safeguard their leasehold assets, it is a good opportunity to consider their options and what can be done. That is where we can help!
Even with social distancing measures in place, it is now easier than ever for leaseholders to set up video chats or messaging groups to stay in touch with their neighbours and other apartment owners in order to organise a collective purchase of freeholds. Even the lawyers and surveyors can join in to provide the much needed assistance in guiding leaseholders through the complexity of purchasing the freehold.
Apartments can even be sold whilst a lease extension or a freehold claim is in place and as long as the lease extension claim is assigned correctly and the participation in the freehold claim is transferred properly, the new buyer can take on the benefit of what the seller started.
Even if a statutory lease extension claim takes too long to complete, an informal deal could be done with the freeholder. We are seeing a lot of freeholders wanting to get deals through sooner rather than later in order to safeguard their own business interests. As a result, now really is a fantastic opportunity for leaseholders to strike whilst the iron is hot.
There are many options for leaseholders to explore during the coronavirus lockdown restrictions. If you’re unsure of what your options are or would like to speak to an expert about your lease, our team are here to give you the advice and clarity you need via phone, email or video conferencing.