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What is a lease?
A lease is a contract between a freeholder and a leaseholder which governs the relationship between them. It is likely to contain conditions under which the leaseholder occupies the property, for example, not carrying out alterations without the landlord’s consent. Express terms contained in a lease are supplemented by implied statutory provisions.
“More than happy with Mike Hansom’s service. I’ve dealt with BLB on and off for years and it’s always been very good”. KB
Our leasehold property expertise
Leasehold law is often complex and unlike freehold property, it usually comes with a raft of continuing rights and obligations (including financial ones). Just navigating a lease can be confusing and it is important to seek advice from a suitably experienced leasehold property solicitor.
We have particular expertise in the following areas:
- Leasehold Enfranchisement
- Lease Extensions
- Right of First Refusal
- Right to Manage
- Service Charge Disputes
- Lease Variations
- Appointment of a Manager
- Leasehold Houses
- Bona Vacantia Freeholds
- Absent Landlords
What is the difference between leasehold and freehold property?
A freeholder owns their property, the land it stands on and the air space above it. A leaseholder effectively has rights to use a property granted by a long tenancy, albeit usually for a ‘term’ of many years; typically 99, 125 or 999.
“The insights that you provided have been very helpful and confidence boosting.” MG
The majority of houses are freehold, but in recent years there has been an increasing trend for developers to sell leasehold houses. This trend is now being reversed in light of the ‘ground rent scandal’ and mortgage lenders’ refusal to lend if the ground rent is or will become too high.
“Thank you Mike for your diligence and ready accessibility; we really appreciated that.” MA
As a leaseholder, your relationship with the freeholder and your neighbours is governed by the lease, which is a type of contract, as well as a raft of legislation designed to protect residential long leaseholders. Our leasehold property solicitors can clarify your rights and obligations under the lease.
“Mike took all of the stress out of what I thought was going to be a difficult and uncomfortable process. Anyone considering enfranchisement should speak to him. Thanks again.” RP
Challenge lease service charges
Leaseholders should be aware that there is a great deal of legislation in place designed to regulate the reasonableness of service charges, including the cost of buildings insurance.
It is very important to note that if you fail to pay ground rent or service charges, your freeholder can seek enforcement. This can include an application to Court, or the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) or LVT in Wales.