If you own your a leasehold flat or a maisonette you have an agreement to occupy your home for a certain number of years paying ground rent but do you realise when the lease ends the landlord owns the whole property outright? 

To stop this the law gives people in flats and maisonettes a right to have an extra 90 years and the ground rent alters to a peppercorn (zero).

If you have more than 80 years left do extend your lease as soon as you can because once the lease drops to having less than  80 years left you have to pay marriage value which hikes the price!  Otherwise know that the longer you leave it the worse it gets because the rule is the shorter the lease - the higher the price

As the law stands you need to have owned the flat for 2 years. If you are administering a deceased estate the deceased needed to have owned it 2 years. It must a lease that was more than 21 years when first made too.

The lease extension process starts by calculating the likely cost involved and if you can afford to proceed we usually serve a claim notice on the landlord for you. This will act to kick start the legal machinery into motion but note the process can take several months to complete and you will need a good solicitor on your side as well.

If you don't already have a solicitor we may be able to recommend one.

Sadly your lease is a wasting asset and as its term reduces so does the value of your flat. The extent of this is not fully appreciated in the early years because the decrease in value is generally offset by property market increases. However, when you have less than about 70 years it is more difficult to obtain a mortgage - thus difficult to sell, except to cash buyers who usually pay a lot less!

An extension reverses this process and the full value of the flat can be restored to you. This is the main reason people extend their leases. Remember the longer you leave it to extend your lease the more expensive it becomes.

Extending your lease is therefore important because it will help to restore the value of your home, provide you with more security and hopefully give you more added value than what it costs.

Remember the cost rises all the time so why not ring us today to consider making a start on dealing with your lease?

If you own a house or bungalow on a leasehold basis we can help. We have been helping people purchase freeholds for more than 30 years! Tony Brunt has attended the tribunal in Birmingham probably more than any other surveyor - over 400 hearings to date!

Freeholders don't think we ignore you either. We have acted for freeholders were they require valuations and assistance in negotiations with leaseholder's surveyors and will continue to be even handed and objective in the advice we provide whilst being careful to avoid a conflict of interest.

Tony Brunt: 0121 624 8545