With the 'Brexit' vote on 23rd June looming and uncertainty regarding how the vote could affect the UK economy now growing, thousands of leaseholders up and down the country are serving their notice to extend the lease of their properties.
With many leaseholders having to tighten their 'purse strings' in such a volatile period for the UK's economy, many flat owners are trying to - understandably - cut corners and save as much money as possible in the extension of their lease. However, this in turn brings about an opportunity for freeholders to exploit unsuspecting lessees.
Recent cases have seen leaseholders, trying to manage and negotiate their lease extension premiums, unwittingly agree to the inclusion of clauses which have decimated the value of their property and cost them thousands of pounds for years to come. Mr Owen from Mitcham, Surrey said to Regency Leasehold that "the freeholder tried to convince me to insert a clause in my lease which would see my ground rent increase by 100% every 2 years!".
Kevin Howard, Director of Regency Leasehold, recently stated that "the only way to be sure that your interests are protected is to employ a company with expertise to manage the lease extension process for you. For the sake of a few hundred pounds, you take comfort in knowing that your investment and your livelihood will be protected."
After discussions with a number of solicitors based in Kent and Greater London, there is a clear consensus that the inclusion of a clause which would see an increase in the ground rent every 2-5 years for example, could have a very detrimental affect on the value of one's property. Many stated that such a clause could 'knock thousands, if not tens of thousands' off a property's market value.
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