Always choose a property expert with fountains of local knowledge

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By Ian Lee BSc FRICS

Director at McAndrew Martin Chartered

Surveyors and twice past chairman of

the Portsmouth Property Association

(PPA)

MANY times over a 12 month period I will be either surveying or valuing a flat or perhaps even both when the length of the remaining lease suddenly becomes something of a stumbling block.

Once the remaining term of the lease falls to less than 70 to 75 years it is quite difficult if not sometimes impossible to get mortgage finance.

Consequently problems are encountered when trying to sell the flat.

There is however a way around this and subject to qualifying criteria and eligibility you will be able to purchase an extension of the lease for an additional 90 years over and above the existing term under the provisions of The Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended).

This is a very specialist area and you will need to engage a surveyor and lawyer both of which will need to be be fully conversant with the legislation.

Your surveyor will be able to calculate the amount of money that you should pay to the freeholder for the additional years on the lease.

The lawyer will be able to ensure that all the legal requirements are met particularly in relation to all the relevant notices which need to be served.

Once you have successfully negotiated and extended your lease you should have no problems when you come to sell.

With an extended lease the property suddenly becomes acceptable to most mortgage lenders and some of the stress of moving should be gone, you should now be able to sell – well at the right price anyway!

As with all things it is important that you choose a local experienced surveyor and Lawyer who will also be aware of any local issues that need to be considered.

Ideally make sure that the Surveyor and Lawyer that you choose are members of the Portsmouth Property Association (PPA).

You can find out more about the PPA and who it’s members are by logging onto portsmouthproperty.co.uk

Don’t also be afraid to ask them how long they have been practising within the Portsmouth and surrounding area – this is also very important.

By doing this not only will you be guaranteed a professional service but a local one as well.