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Scrap the qualifying time of 2 years ownership for lease extension

Comment 18th August 2010

The Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993  is legislation which provides an opportunity for an additional term of 90 years,  plus the present unexpired term.

To be a Qualifying leaseholder you must own a ‘long lease’, and have owned it for the past two years and not be a business or commercial tenant.  You do not need to have lived in the property for this period, merely owned the lease for two years or more.

The clause of the Law that requires this qualification can be easily scrapped.

Why does this matter?


This 2 year qualification is a restriction provides unfair advantage and big gains to landlords and at the expense of sellers leaseholders with unextended leases.

This 2 year qualifying restriction to extend lease distorts the housing market prices greatly. .

Many flats are on the market with remaining leases shorter than 70 years and the purchaser has difficulty to get mortgage. The shorter the lease the higher the cost to extend.    The landlord  refuses prompt lease extension trying to negotiate more money for him/herself.  The leaseholder has right to extend but at his own cost of several thousands whereas Landlord pays nothing..   

Of course the seller can serve the landlord the "Initial Notice" and then sell the flat with the benefits thereof; and the purchaser does not have to wait  2 years to qualify, but this is still not acceptable as the purchaser also may blackmail the vendor to reduce the flat value, since if he pulls out this leaves all the legal costs of the lease extension (possibly tens of thousands) to the seller to pay.

Share of freehold does not in anyway solve this problem, since all need to "agree" to get a lease extension done, and members can always ask their own share of the money without extending their own leases, leaving the lesee in a very bad position. This is very easy to stop.

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