Leasing and Renting
We act for individuals, companies or trustees as either landlord or tenant. It may be the case that the property is to be acquired as a buy to let investment or simply as a home for the client or perhaps by trustees as accommodation for a beneficiary. In all cases it is important to ensure that the lease meets the needs of the client and covers the required obligations for the particular type of property. For a new lease we will draft it so as to meet that objective and for the taking on of an established lease we will report on its terms and advise on any aspect of concern.
Different entitlements and obligations apply depending upon the length of the lease concerned. Briefly:
A term of over 21 years:
Generally acquired by payment of a premium. In view of its length and value all proper searches and enquiries should be undertaken as are applicable to the purchase of a property. (See Buying or Selling a property.) Classed as a long lease, it will carry certain statutory rights that will give the lessee the opportunity to extend the term of the lease or acquire the freehold. (See Leasehold Extension and Enfranchisement.)
Over 7 years
The lease will need to be registered. Apart from the extra costs it should be noted that the registered title is open to public inspection.
Under 7 years
A statutory duty on the landlord to keep the property and its facilities in good repair will be implied.
Over 3 years
To constitute a legal lease it must be in writing and executed as a deed.
In most cases of buy to let the tenant will be granted an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. There may be exceptions, primarily in the case of a letting to a company or where the rent will exceed the maximum or be less than the minimum level permitted for an AST. In such cases a common law tenancy will apply.
As the lease must meet the clients immediate needs and long term plans for the property we go through the details with the client to ensure that it is fit for purpose. It must not clash with any pre-existing covenants particularly if it is to be a sub-lease.
We provide landlords with guidance as to obligations that may be imposed upon them by statute.
If you are considering letting a property you may find our checklists to be of use.