Helen Griffin-Booth, director at Bluerow Homes, is urging Liverpool buyers to ensure that they fully understand their legal rights before investing in a leasehold property.
The call comes following a report released by HomeOwners Alliance yesterday (5 April), which reveals that only 58% of leasehold owners questioned knew the length of their current lease.
The owner of a leasehold property legally owns a lease on their home, rather than the property itself, which is owned by the freeholder. This means that they do not own the property outright, so the nature and length of their homeownership is restricted.
Helen says: “The leasehold system can often be a point of confusion for home buyers and it’s alarming that so many buyers aren’t fully aware of their legal position, but it needn’t be daunting with the right guidance and advice.
“It’s important to know exactly how long is left on your lease before buying a property. Mortgage lenders will typically look for a lease with at least 75 years remaining before offering you a loan, so it’s essential that you do your homework and secure a mortgage before making an offer.
“If you do purchase a property with limited time remaining, extending the lease is a simple legal process, but the key is to make sure this is dealt with before the 75 year mark is reached.
“This is something that estate agents should inform and educate buyers about, but unfortunately this does not always happen. I would like to see the introduction of legislation to help protect buyers from being caught out when buying a property.”