A Lease is always for a “term of years”. The long Lease of a flat typically starts with a term of 99 or 125 years. When a Lease has only about 70 or so years left to run it becomes difficult to mortgage and therefore the flat impossible to sell at the “market rate”.
The owner of a Lease can try to negotiate an extension to the term with the Landlord, or can rely on a statutory right to insist on 90 years being added to the term. If the price for the Lease Extension cannot be agreed then the matter can be decided by the Lands Tribunal.
If you are thinking of selling a Lease we suggest that you look into the question of whether an extension is required well before you put the property on the market. On the other hand if you are buying a Lease where the term needs to be extended, in particular to satisfy the requirements of Mortgage Lender, again you should make sure that you understand the position sooner rather than later. Trying to organise a Lease Extension in the middle of a flat for sale/purchase is stressful and difficult.
Tassells has experience and expertise in dealing with these matters and is very happy to advise anyone who owns a residential Lease or is planning to acquire one.