How do I increase the Lease on my 4 Nottingham Council flats?

How do I increase the Lease on my 4 Nottingham Council flats?

8:20 AM, 9th August 2021, About 3 years ago 30

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I have 4 flats (separate buildings) where the Council own the building (Freehold-Is that right?). I pay service charge approx £100+ each flat each year + Estate rent £10 each flat. No mortgages on each flat if that makes a difference.

My limited knowledge and notes on this tells me: Council have to extend Lease back to 99 years. I can’t get a mortgage if only 70 years are left. Do flat Leases when near 90 years renew.

One of them has about 92 years left. One has 88 years left. How do I find out how many years are left on each one without digging my deeds out?

I started the ball rolling yesterday, initial fee for a company is around £1800 inc. vat + the Council fees + I guess the Council costs.
The flats are only worth around £85,000 with rents of around £6000 pa, so it seems to start with, the fees are expensive considering the little value and rent.

If it makes a difference on what I’m doing with ’em in years to come, well initially I wanted to save them, so when my tenant’s kids in the houses left home and their Housing Benefit reduced, and they couldn’t afford the house anymore, I could say Here you go, I have cheaper flat for you here. And I’ve done that in the past with the flats.

However, at the moment, the people aren’t leaving the flats either. Apart from one where the girl just moved in and hopefully may buy it off me within 3 years. So if the flats do come up, as time ticks on, I think I am gonna’ sell them. As the house people now are saying they don’t want to leave their home no matter what and muggins here don’t charge ’em proper rent cause they can’t afford it.

Please don’t confuse me with complicated regs, I’m good at renting houses out and maths, but as soon as you say Section 27.2 Rule 7 (B) paragraph 2, you’ve lost me-I’m getting a plane to Magaluf.

Just simple what to do, phone number, expert etc. Or is it because it’s Council, they more gentle and can deal with ’em direct? However, my experience with a lot of departments in Council is any affiliated to the Councillors is not great.

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Mick Roberts

7:07 AM, 12th August 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by at 11/08/2021 - 13:21
Yes I was hypotheisising on the 125 years. I han't got a clue. Cause I (& many of u) rent houses out very successfully & come up with some magic solutions with Benefit tenants when they feel all is lost, then everyone thinks we know everything-Which we don't. And these leases has brainwashed me already.

So u saying I don't need a valuer then.
Wow, interesting figures then on in effect buying an annuity. My flats are worth approx £85.000 each, so shun't be a lot then, just the Councils & my solicitor fees.

Yes your bun & cake, my sayings are:
Why have it Good when u can have it Great.
The difference between Good & Great Is just a little extra effort

Hopefully Council come back to me soon then, then if what u say, the Council follows that path, I may just need my solicitor at £650 + VAT.

I'm saving all these comments & as we get closer, gonna' be using all the tips.

Freda Blogs

9:56 AM, 14th August 2021, About 3 years ago

Hi Mick

I recommend you do use a valuer, the fees will be tax deductible, and as you have several properties, you will probably be able to get a good deal from a valuer.

More importantly, you will get the advice you need and it will save you a lot of time and aggravation trying to negotiate your case against the freeholder’s representative in unfamiliar territory (to you) regarding the valuation and legislation. Paying their fees will probably save you money in the long run.


10:34 AM, 14th August 2021, About 3 years ago

1. You own the Leases to 4 separate flats, same freeholder, Local Council.
2. Each has the remainder of a 99 years lease.
3. See competent experienced Solicitor (not the Premium rubbish) and instruct them to do the necessary to get Lease extension.
4. I was a Consultant there and would recommend ODT LLP Solicitors of Brighton, they did a job for me, excellent. Not the cheapest but cheapest is not best, think of Premium etc.?

Dennis Forrest

10:43 AM, 14th August 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 14/08/2021 - 09:56Valuers aren't cheap and they have no incentive to get you the best deal. They get paid whatever the outcome. If Mick's situation was a high ground rent, increasing every 5 or 10 years, or worse still doubling then a valuer's expertise would be useful. Alternatively if the unexpired term had dropped below 80 years and marriage value was involved again use a valuer. In this case the ground rent is only £10 a year and as far as we know it does not increase. So the part of the lease premium calculated to compensate the freeholder for loss of income is minimal. Likewise as the property values are only around £85,000 the 90 year deferment value is again going to be very small. IMO employing a valuer in this situation would be a waste of money. The valuers fees could be equal to or greater than the actual lease premiums. If the premium required or costs suggested by the freeholder are considered to be excessive, (his solicitor will have a rough idea from previous cases), then these can be challenged in the First Tier Property Tribunal as a paper application for very reasonable fees. Even applying to the tribunal often spurs the freeholder to make a much better offer before the tribunal considers the case.

Freda Blogs

12:44 PM, 14th August 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by at 14/08/2021 - 10:43
You and I have disagreed on this point before; my recollection is that you have done a couple of your own lease extensions.

I believe that your statement about valuers is a very sweeping and incorrect generalisation that 'valuers aren't cheap and have no incentive to get you the best deal'.

I should know. I speak as a valuer with experience in this area of work, and I can personally say that I have negotiated many lease extensions and saved my clients many £000s, with savings far outweighing fees.

My post was aimed at Mick, who admits he has limited knowledge on the topic and who in my view would benefit from having a valuer fighting his corner.

I don’t propose to get into any more dialogue about it, we must agree to differ.

Dennis Forrest

14:19 PM, 14th August 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 14/08/2021 - 12:44Thank you for letting me have the last word on this matter. Valuers who value leases are specially trained and not to be confused with the type of free valuation you get from an estate agent when you are thinking of selling you house. Many are members of ALEP. I do know that fees start at around £800 + vat for valuing a lease extension and negotiating with the freehold. You state that you have saved you clients many £1,000s and I do not doubt. However you have not thought carefully enough about his situation. Here we are talking about lease premiums in the hundreds not thousands. You would not save Mick thousands on these lease extensions - the ground rent is only £10 p.a., the properties are only worth £85,000 and there is no marriage value.
You may wonder why I take a dim view of valuers. It is only because of my experience with the valuer I appointed for my very first lease extension. I did everything right. I rang round 3 or 4 ALEP valuers and chose one at a reasonable price and thought I had a rapport with. The trouble about picking any professional who is not recommended by a friend you can trust is that you have no way of judging their integrity or knowing if they are honest and above board. So I engaged the valuer and a premium of around £5000 was fairly quickly agreed by the freeholder (middle of the range suggested). Everything looked OK and my solicitor started working with the other solicitor to draw up the new lease. LATER ON CAME THE BOMBSHELL! It transpired that my valuer had agreed the lease premium only on condition that we paid in full the freeholder's legal and valuation. This is normal but the freeholder wanted £3000 legal fees + £2000 valuation fees, £5000 IN TOTAL. So my valuer agreed a deal any fool could have got. If I had known earlier I would have dismissed my valuer and gone to the FTPT and let them calculate a fair figure for the premium + freeholder costs. So in total this straightforward lease extension cost me just over £12,000.) Foolishly I paid the valuer I should have let him try to sue me but I was very busy at the time.
My next lease extension I decided to do my own negotiation without a valuer. (I could hardly do any worse) It was a 10 year doubling ground rent going up to £8,000 per annum. I used the same solicitor as before but decided straight away to go to the First Tier Property Tribunal in person to put my case. I reasoned the freeholder would not want the publicity. I also reasoned that the freeholder would have to pay the legal and valuation fees at the tribunal. I negotiated directly with the freeholder's valuer. My strategy worked in the end I got a RPI lease instead of doubling lease, starting at £350 instead of the present £500 p.a. and a 90 year lease extension for a premium of £5,500. My total costs for this extension were just over £9,500.

Mick Roberts

6:55 AM, 18th August 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Lindsay Keith at 14/08/2021 - 10:34
Update on my solicitors, my regular conveyancer is £650+Vat, but she's come back to me & said this is PLUS the specialist solicitor in her firm, who has done my Court evictions over the years.
It is usually XXX that deals with lease extensions. Once he has served relevant notices and price agreed etc I then step in and approve the draft lease and get it registered etc. My charges are usually £650.00 plus VAT and Land Registry Fees. I don’t know how much XXX will charge for his bit – you will need to contact him.

She will do reduced rate if all at same time with Council. So appears not cheap.

Mick Roberts

6:55 AM, 18th August 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 14/08/2021 - 12:44I have no knowledge on this subject ha ha. All help & tips are being noted & will be fine tuned & used at the end. I'm hoping cause it's Nottingham Council, as much as they shaft us, this department & dealing with a solicitor, may be all proper.

Mick Roberts

6:56 AM, 18th August 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by at 14/08/2021 - 10:43
Yes, my values are very cheap in Nottingham with the Council flats.
You have certainly done your bit on leases han't u.


8:26 AM, 3rd September 2021, About 3 years ago

For those of you who live in flats or invest in flats, which clearly are those following this string, this will be of interest.

The management of a block of flats is often controlled by leaseholders, via a Residents Management Company, a Residents Freehold Company, or a Right to Manage Company. This involves both company law and Landlord & Tenant law ... both of which are complex and ever-changing. Whether you're on the controlling side as a Resident Director - or the receiving side as a leaseholder/shareholder - you probably don't know all you should/could know in order to fully understand how the management of the building should be run.

To help leaseholders, shareholders and Resident Directors update their knowledge and understanding, ARMA ... the Association of Residential Managing Agents ... is running a training event at the end of September > Split over three days, there are three 2-hour sessions, which cover the following topics and more:

> The Lease - demystified
> The Company - what type is yours?
> Three Hats - directors' various roles
> Managing Agents - professional advice, needing support
> Memorandum & Articles of Association - demystified too
> The Law - the important bits to know
> G D P R - don't get caught out
> Meetings - when, who, what and why
> The Neighbour From Hell - avoid the battle but win the war
> First-tier Tribunal or Court - a layman's guide to the law in practice
> Accounts - what money goes where and why
> Section 20 - notices and practicalities
> Right to Buy - what to do ... fast
> Right to Enfranchise - when and how to succeed
> Directors and Officers Insurance - "CYA"
... together with interactive questions and answers throughout. And all for a stupidly low price of £30 per person.

I urge anyone who owns a flat, whether as an investment or as their home, to attend this live webinar course. You are guaranteed to learn something useful and I have no doubt that knowledge will save you more than the course fee.

And for those who cannot attend at the end of September, there's my own online course ... at a higher price ... here >

Whichever route you choose - enjoy learning leasehold 🙂

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