Selling a Flat with a Short Lease

With the popularity of leasehold flats, home sellers may have to consider selling their flat with a short lease.

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Frequently asked questions about selling a flat with a short lease

✅ What type of property is considered to be a short lease flat?

 If you own a leasehold flat that has less than 80 years left on the lease agreement then you are considered to have a home with a short lease. Leases give an owner the right to live in a flat for a set duration of time, anywhere from 99 to 999 years, in exchange for paying an annual service charge and ground rent to the freeholder who owns the land and property that the flat is part of.

✅ Why are flats with short leases considered harder to sell?

The less amount of time left on a leasehold flat’s lease, the less valuable the property is considered to be for a few reasons. The cost of extending a lease rises dramatically every year as you get closer to the end of the lease. And mortgage lenders look less favourably on flats with short leases, making it difficult for a buyer to get the funds for purchasing your home.

✅ If I have a short lease, is it possible to extend it before selling?

Yes, and if you have owned the flat for at least two years then you typically have an automatic right to seek an extension from the leaseholder, which could help increase your home’s value prior to sale. It can take some time and money to go through the complicated process of a lease extension, so this might need be an option if you want to sell your flat in a hurry.

✅ Will I have to pay any fees when selling my short lease flat?

You might, depending on how you to decide to sell your home. Using an estate agent or a property auctioneer will come with fees that you’ll have to subtract from the sale proceeds before you can calculate your final profit. But you’ll never pay commission when using a fast home buyer like LDN Properties, which means you’ll get to keep all of the proceeds.

✅ What's the average timeline for selling my flat with a short lease?

There’s no certainty about when your home will sell, but using an auctioneer will take a few months at minimum when you consider all the aspects of the sale, and some estate agents might take many months or even longer than a full year to sell your home. Fast buyers, by contrast, can typically complete all the steps of buying your property in just a few weeks.

✅ Should I attempt to buy the freehold of my short lease flat before selling?

You could, and as a leasehold flat owner you certainly have the right to, and freehold homes may be more attractive to buyers. However, this is a complex option with many conditions, such as having at least half of the flat owners in your building interested in it. For this and many other reasons it’s not usually considered to be a realistic option for homeowners.

✅ How can I find out whether my home is leasehold and how long my lease has left?

First, you’ll need to visit the UK government’s land and property information website and search for your address, which will lead you to a page that lists details about your flat including whether it is a freehold or leasehold home. Next, you will have to obtain a copy of your property’s title register, which you’ll need in order to find out how many years are remaining on your lease.

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