If you are considering buying a leasehold property, expert advice from the real estate residential solicitors at JMW can help you avoid legal and financial issues that can sometimes make the process complicated for purchasers. We have many years of experience helping homebuyers to ensure the investment they make is the right one and we will guide you throughout the process.
Get in touch with our team of leasehold solicitors today to find out more about our services and how we can assist you with buying a leasehold property. Simply call us on 0345 872 6666, or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
How JMW Can Help
When you contact our team, we will hold a short initial consultation to assess your situation and objectives and explain what we will be able to do to help you. We will guide you through the entire process of arranging your conveyancing process and ensuring that your leasehold is implemented with all of your obligations met to avoid any issues arising later down the line. If you are new to the leasehold conveyancing process, we will help you to understand your responsibilities and how to put measures in place to reduce the chances of any disputes arising with your landlord or the letting agents who own the property.
JMW can help you with a number of aspects of leasehold conveyancing. For example, our leasehold extension solicitors can help you to extend and renew a leasehold deal on a property. Call us today with your leasehold conveyancing query and we will discuss your circumstances.
What is a Leasehold Property?
A leasehold property can be a house, flat or commercial property. However, it differs to the majority of properties in that, despite needing to buy and mortgage it, it is only 'owned' by the purchaser for a fixed period of time, as outlined in the lease.
What's more, the land on which it is built is not owned by the homebuyer. Instead, it remains under the ownership of the original landlord, known as the freeholder.
At the end of the lease, the property is returned to the freeholder.
How to Buy a Leasehold
Similar to purchasing residential property, you may be able to apply for a mortgage when buying a leasehold property. However, you can only own leasehold property for a limited amount of time, which is designated in a legal agreement signed by you - the buyer - and the landlord who owns the freehold. If you want to purchase the property indefinitely, you must then purchase the freehold. To do so, you must first contact the landlord or organisation that owns the property and inform them that you would like to make an offer.
The rules surrounding buying the freehold of a property are different depending on whether it is a house or a flat. If you are looking to purchase a house, you may already have the right to do so, and should check whether this is the case by contacting expert residential leasehold property solicitors. If you are looking to purchase the freehold of a flat, or building consisting of flats, the landlord must first offer the current leaseholders a chance to buy it first. You will also need to purchase a share of the freehold before you can outright own it.
Understanding the Details
Because of the difference between buying leasehold property and more common freehold property, it is extremely important that leasehold property buyers fully understand the agreement they are entering into. If you don't, you may find owning a leasehold property costly and stressful.
Our real estate residential solicitors will be able to check a range of important details, such as:
- The ground rent due to the landlord/freeholder
- Other service charges that are owed
- The length of the lease
- Responsibility for maintenance or structural work on the building
- How to extend the lease
We will also be able to advise you on getting a mortgage on leasehold properties and talk you through your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder.
Your Rights as a Leaseholder
As a leaseholder, you have certain rights that the landlord or letting agent organisation must meet. Your rights as a leaseholder allow you to:
- Receive consultation about certain maintenance and running costs
- Gather information about service charges or insurance
- Know the landlord's name and address
- Challenge certain charges, where appropriate
For more information about your rights as a leaseholder and what to do if they are infringed, seek legal advice from our team today.
Why Choose JMW?
The real estate residential solicitors at JMW will walk you through the complex process of acquiring leasehold property and make sure you fully understand it, explaining everything you need to know with jargon-free language and offering support every step of the way. Throughout the process, we will maintain transparency so you understand exactly what is happening at any given point and we can facilitate any necessary communications between you and the other parties involved.
JMW has been recognised by the Legal 500 for its excellent service across many areas of UK law. Our leasehold solicitors are highly experienced in advising people who are considering buying a leasehold property and we will help you to avoid any legal issues that can sometimes emerge from this process.
Our leasehold specialist solicitors maintain up-to-date knowledge of any conveyancing law developments and will use current trends to ensure you and the parties who manage your property are meeting all relevant legal requirements. When you seek legal advice from us, you will be placed in the best possible position to avoid any legal issues that can sometimes emerge from this process.
Solicitors Specialising in Leasehold Properties Near Me
JMW’s headquarters are based in London and Manchester, but our expert solicitors operate all over the country. Wherever you are located, seek advice and guidance from the expert leasehold solicitors at JMW. We can arrange online video calls for those who are out of the way.
FAQs About Our Leasehold Solicitor Services
Do you need a solicitor to acquire a leasehold property?
It is highly recommended that you seek legal advice when looking to acquire a leasehold. Property conveyancing is a complex area of law with many pitfalls that can lead to costly and time-consuming mistakes. By working with our leasehold solicitors, you can be confident that you will avoid issues and get the most out of your leasehold deal.
What responsibilities do leaseholders have?
Leaseholders' primary responsibility is to make rent payments on time - under a leasehold, this is referred to as 'ground rent'. Additionally, leaseholders may have to maintain and manage the property, and they may have to contribute to insurance payments. These requirements will be included in your leaseholder contract and should be discussed with the property owners. Our solicitors will help you to understand these requirements and may be able to negotiate them to get better terms for you.
Can you be kicked out of a leasehold property?
As a leaseholder, you may be kicked out of a property if you breach the terms of the lease that you officially agreed to by signing the leasehold agreement. The property owner should have stated the consequences of breaching the terms on the agreement that you signed, so you should understand your expectations. However, if you believe that the terms are unfair, you may be able to do something about it - in which case, you should speak to a legal expert.
Can a landlord refuse your request to renew a lease?
If you have breached the terms of your leasehold agreement, the landlord can refuse to renew your lease and demand that you leave the property when it is up. Depending on the terms of your lease, your landlord may also be able to evict you from the property.
Landlords may also be able to repossess leasehold property for their own use, but they must be able to prove their intentions to do so and not be restricted from doing so by the leasehold agreement. In many cases, landlords will be able to move back into the property once your leasehold agreement is up.
What is the difference between leasing and renting a property?
The main difference between renting and leasing a property is that renting is typically done on a short-term basis, with rental agreements usually lasting up to a year, while leasehold agreements can be granted for any length of time from the usual 21 years to 999. This also means that leasehold terms are different to reflect this greater length of time and the function that the property will be used for.
Is leasing better than renting?
Whether you should lease or rent a property will depend entirely on your situation and goals. Renting is the typical choice for residents who are not planning to live in the property permanently, while leasing enables the residents to use the property for commercial reasons. These are different functions and you should therefore do one or the other, depending on your objectives.