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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10738
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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We are currently selling our flat to which we own the freehold

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We are currently selling our flat to which we own the freehold which we are including in the sale. There is also a lease on the flat which has 77 years to run. We do not pay ground rent or service charges. Our buyer is now asking if it is possible to extend the lease. Do they need to? Surely if they own the freehold they would be asking themselves to extend it. Can you advise me on where we stand with this please?
Hi,Thanks for your enquiry.Could you please confirm that you alone own the Freehold or do you own it jointly with any other neighbour?I look forward to hearing from you.Al
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is a house that is divided into five flats with the owners each holding the freehold to their flat.
Hi,Thanks for your reply.I would have thought that the Freehold is held by the 5 of you in the name of a Management Company? Do you know? (You wouldn't normally each own the Freehold of your respective flats).Al
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes that is right.
Thanks. Last question then- has anyone else in the block extended their Lease or have all 5 of you ever held discussions concerning the extension of your Leases?Al
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No that we are aware. We have never paid ground rent or a service charge and as the freehold is owned by us surely we would be asking ourselves to extend the lease?
Hi,You are indeed correct, in so far as you own a share in the Freehold. However, all 5 of you, as members of the Management Company have to agree before the Leases are extended.It would therefore be normal for all 5 of you, at some stage, to agree to extend your respective Leases. If you all did it at the same time, one Solicitor could be instructed and this would save on cost.So, there is no real need for your Buyer to ask for a Lease extension. (Most Mortgage Lenders insist that there is at least 55-65 years left on the Lease before granting a Mortgage, so your Buyer has the added bonus that 77 years is more than adequate).I would therefor suggest that you tell your Buyer that you are not prepared to get the Lease extended (if you did, this is likely to delay your Sale, as it may well take a good 8 weeks to sort it all out) and that your Buyer liaise with the other residents at a later date as regards ***** ***** Lease.I hope this assists and sets out the legal position.Kind RegardsAl
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks. It was as I had thought. I will pass this on to my buyer and hopefully this will put the matter to bed.