Buying flat- what should minimum lease length be?

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  • Buying flat- what should minimum lease length be?

    I am looking to buy a flat within the next couple of months. I am looking up to £150k for a 1 bedroom flat in greater London.

    The above is probably irrelevant. My questions is, what is the minimum I should be looking for on a lease? I am only looking to live in the property for a max of 3 years.

    Also, why are some lease's 999yrs and some 125?


    Any help is greatly appreciated.


    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by fever86 View Post
    I am looking to buy a flat within the next couple of months. I am looking up to £150k for a 1 bedroom flat in greater London.

    The above is probably irrelevant. My questions is, what is the minimum I should be looking for on a lease? I am only looking to live in the property for a max of 3 years.

    Also, why are some lease's 999yrs and some 125?


    Any help is greatly appreciated.


    Thanks
    Concerns from lenders start to appear once the term falls below 75 years and many require at least 70 years. Many buyers become picky once it falls below 80 years

    However there are lenders who will lend on very short leases even below 30 years if the deposit is large and the repayment term short

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    • #3
      The majority of leases are 99, 125 and 999 years and the no. of years term was decided by the original builder ( or freeholder /landlord / lessor company ) granting the lease.

      The leasehold title is a long term rental contract which can be transferred to others (next buyer). A freehold title normally gives complete ownership of the land and building. Freehold Title is better than leasehold title.

      If you want to avoid leasehold problems for 3 years, then -

      1. Choose flats with atleast 90 years remaining lease term. Note- A flat with 99 year lease commencing from 1990 will have 81 years lease remaining. Any lease extension below 80 years, cost calculation involves payment of marriage value.

      2. Before you make an offer to buy, ask to see the ground rent demand - If it shows the managing agent is Simarc or Estates and Management or CPM and other member companies of Erinaceous , then avoid.

      3. Ask to see the service charge account before you offer and ask how flats are in arrears .

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tenant29 View Post
        A freehold title normally gives complete ownership of the land and building.
        Not exactly corect- but freehold is as much ownership as you can get.
        If freeholder [or even leaseholder] dies with no-one to inherit (either by Will or on intestacy), or if Co. is dissolved, assets pass to Crown. This is ultimate owner under UK law.

        But, yes- freehold is better than leasehold (except re ownership of single flat/maisonette- should preferrably be leasehold in P's hands).
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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