Beware of Complications with Leasehold Properties

If you own, are due to sell or re-mortgage or are considering buying a leasehold property, then it is crucial to be aware of new legislation that could cause issues.

The Building Safety Act was reformed in June 2022 following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. New management duties regarding fire and safety in residential buildings came into effect from 1 April 2023. The Act creates more rigorous requirements for the planning, design, construction, and management of buildings along with the requirement for accountable persons and formal certifications.

Leasehold Properties

Most flats and maisonettes are owned as leasehold, due to the nature of having multiple dwellings situated on one piece of land.

Considerations When Buying a Leasehold

Leaseholds come with more complications than a freehold property, however, they are still incredibly popular as they can make great investment properties to rent out, are popular with commuters or city dwellers and can be a more affordable option for single people or couples looking to get onto the property market.

Some key elements to understand before buying are;

  • How many years are left on the lease?
  • What is the cost of the ground rent?
  • What are the service charges, maintenance fees or additional costs?
  • What restrictions are in place? i.e., decorating, alterations, parking, pet ownership
  • Have you taken specialist legal advice?
Block of new build, flats with cladding, high rise appartments

Leasehold Owners Must get their Paperwork in Order

The Leaseholder Deeds of Certificate and Landlords Certificates now change the way that residential properties are bought, sold, or re-mortgaged.

The certificates provide a record of how the property was owned or occupied when the changes came into effect and what protections the property qualifies for.

There are strict time limits in providing or responding to requests for these certificates and they will undoubtedly have an impact on the conveyancing process and time-frames in this regard.

As memories fade it is important that leaseholders are encouraged to prepare and obtain the now required Certificates and which provide the permanent record for the property – leaseholders will require legal advice in this regard. Anyone dealing with a flat that is eligible for remediation under a scheme is strongly advised to contact their solicitor in the first instance.


Some lenders require you to have such Certificates for the property when “applying” for a mortgage. Major lenders have agreed that they will lend where there is evidence of certificates, and of course providing the mortgage application meets individual lenders policy and regulation requirements.

Leasehold Property Advice

If you need expert advice on your leasehold sale, purchase or re-mortgage, then please get in touch with our specialist Property Law Team who can offer guidance and transactional assistance in line with the latest changes.

Call us on 01256 844888, email or speak to our online chat assistant, at any time of day or night.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

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