In short – huge. According to the latest statistics from the National Statistics Office, England Wales contains around “22.5m households” currently. Of those, around 4.5 million are flats and of those approximately 1.5million are long leasehold flats, i.e. flats which are eligible for lease extension.
Furthermore, it’s not unusual for there to be repeated lease extensions on the same flat – why? Although tenants can insist on being granted an additional 90 year period on their lease years from the landlord, often cash will be tight (especially in recessionary or post-recessionary times like ours) and all that’s required is a short extension – perhaps to make the property more mortgageable and easier to sell. Alternatively, perhaps, the remaining term on the lease is approaching the critical 80 years point [after which time lease extensions become more expensive as an additional payment called the “marriage value” kicks in] and a simple and relatively short [e.g. 20 lease year extension] is all that is required to keep the marriage value problem at bay.
What’s also interesting is that, at least according to the Leasehold Advisory Service , the number of disputes between freeholders and their leaseholders is rising significantly. According to their latest statistics, Leasehold Advisory Service had over 400k people visiting their website in 2011/12 – an increase
of 21% over the previous 12 month period. Furthermore, the number of received personal and email enquiries received rose by 13%.
All in all – the market for lease extensions and trips to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal following dispute team landlords and tenants is already big and looks like getting bigger.
Looking for specialist legal advice?
Very few property lawyers ever deal with these three areas of and therefore often struggle to deal with them. However there is no reason to risk appointing a non-specialist to deal with extending a lease, leasehold enfranchisement or right to manage – our team can help you wherever you live in England and Wales
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