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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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is it a bad idea to buy a flat with only 65 years left on the

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is it a bad idea to buy a flat with only 65 years left on the lease


Are you purchasing with a mortgage?


Is the seller also the freeholder?

Kind regards,



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We are looking to purchase with a mortgage, and the seller is not the freeholder. I believe that the value of the flat will decrease as the lease gets shorter, and the cost of extending the lease will get greater, so we could lose money on resale. If we extended the lease but none of the other flats did, where would that leave us?

I'll be able to answer in an hour or so.

Kind regards,




Thanks for your reply.

So for my delay in replying, I'm afraid I've had connectivity issues over the weekend.


If you are to purchase with a mortgage then the 65 years is going to be a problem. Most lenders will not issue mortgage offers in respect of leases with less than 70 years remaining. You may find one or two that will but these will be the exceptions to the rule.


If your lender is not willing to lend then the extension of the lease term will have to be extended. There are fairly good grounds (though nothing in law) to argue that the leaseholder seller should extend it because it is unlikely that they will be able to sell the property to any person other than a cash buyer because other purchasers will have the same problem as you.


The freeholder cannot charge excessive fees for this and if they attempt to do so then the Seller can take them to a leasehold valuation tribunal:


You will see on the top right hand side of the page there is a link to a calculator to work out what the freeholder should roughly charge to extend the lease.

If the seller is not willing to pay for an extension then either you will have to say that you shall pay for the extension or the transaction will fall through I regret to say.


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Kind regards,



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