Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About 3 days ago 93
My question is the best way in which I can extend the term of my own lease. The circumstances are that I own the whole freehold of a terraced house in London which has been split into four flats. I also, separately, own the leasehold interest in one of the flats. I have owned both since the 1990s. The unexpired term of the lease is approximately 95 years.
I have been advised to extend my lease now so that I don’t encounter any problems if the other leaseholders collectively decide to buy the freehold (they have all owned their flats for more than two years).
My questions are these:
Firstly, do I actually need to do anything now? Would I be able to extend my lease prior to the sale of the freehold to the other owners at no premium?
Secondly, if it might cause me problems, how should I go about doing this ? I know that I cannot simply grant an extension or deed of variation to myself. It has been suggested that I could assign the lease to my husband as a joint tenant. If I were to do this, would we need to pay SDLT? And would any capital gains issues arise? Would we then need to wait for a further two years to qualify?
I do not wish to assign the freehold interest to him, as this would trigger my having to offer the freehold interest to the other leaseholders first.
Someone did suggest to me that I could simply surrender my lease. Is this viable? If so, it might well be the easiest way to do it, but that almost seems to be too simple so I am wary that there may be other issues that I haven’t thought of. Could one flat be freehold and the others be leasehold?
Any advice or experience would be much appreciated.
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