What is a lease?
A lease is a contract between the leaseholder, freeholder and in the case of tripartite leases, the manager. Leases are often challenging to alter. Therefore it is imperative prospective buyers seek advice before their purchase completion. The Leaseholder Association provides specialist advice to its members, explaining their rights and obligations and those of the landlord or managers regarding the lease and the correct legislation.
‘Leases in common’, usually in respect of all properties contributing towards the same service charge, can be varied if there is 100% agreement between all parties, including the freeholder. An appropriately worded Deed Of Variation is required, and a solicitor’s services are needed to draft a Deed Of Variation. If all parties agree to the contents, it needs to be signed and forwarded to the Land Registry. Costs will be incurred concerning lease variations, which the lease will usually allow to be passed on to the leaseholders.
Tenants and landlords often wish to vary the terms of their leases. The most common reasons are:
- To increase the length of the lease
- To reduce the ground rent to zero
- To modernise the lease (where the original lease dates to the 1990s or earlier.)
- To vary the maintenance charges
- To add additional parking spaces or other rights
- To impose new regulations, for example, to prohibit vaping in public spaces, or to prohibit or allow for short-term rental such as Airbnb
- To grant consent to structural changes, such as the addition of a balcony, and to formalise repairing and insurance obligations following the structural changes.
Please note that in some circumstances, there may be additional landlord’s costs and a premium payable.
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