When you purchased your property, either through shared ownership or outright, you became a leaseholder.
Being a leaseholder means that you have a lease from Gateway Housing, who are either the freeholder or own the headlease. Gateway Housing act as your landlord. The lease is a contract granting use of the property for a number of years.
Your leasehold term is for a set amount of time, which is typically set at 99 or 125 years but can range anywhere up to 999 years. At the end of this term the property will revert to the freeholder.
A lease extension is a continuation of a lease beyond the original term.
Why extend my lease?
A leasehold property loses value the shorter a lease term gets and concurrently the cost of extending your lease also increases the shorter the term gets.
When a lease term falls below 80 years it is generally considered as ‘short’. Short leases can make it difficult for the leaseholder to sell their home or re-mortgage; as mortgage providers consider it an increased risk against lending on a short lease.
Going through the lease extension process will:
- Increase or at least preserve the value of your flat
- Make your flat easier to sell as it becomes a much more attractive proposition to purchasers and lenders. Most buyers will be buying with the age of a mortgage so most mortgage lenders have minimum years requirements as to the as to the length of a lease that they will consider providing a mortgage for.
- Give you security of where you live. If you allow your lease to run down and expire you will be allowing the lease and the property to revert to your freeholder upon the date of expiry. This will mean that you have no lease and therefore no rights to the property
Our GHA_Lease_Extension_Guide details the process in full, explains the different processes and routes available to leaseholders when extending their lease and covers eligibility criteria.
If you have any queries, please do speak to a member of the Gateway Housing team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.