Lease plans - beware if you vary your lease

It is fair to say that due to the recent press coverage about the problems with long leases of flats, property lawyers are looking at leases and lease plans in considerable detail.

If such an inspection reveals that the plan of the property is incorrect, it will be necessary for your lawyer to decide how to proceed. Any alteration to the plan of the property will have to be included in a new deed which must be signed by the existing flat owner and the landlord.  This can involve a lot of time and additional legal fees and can substantially delay if not, derail a sale of the flat.

It is important that the flat owner is properly advised in this case.  If the lease plan is being corrected and the new plan shows that the property is larger than on the original plan, this may amount to a surrender of the existing lease and a re-grant of the larger property.  This has an impact on the flat owner and could involved stamp duty land tax, for example. There are also issues for the landlord including obtaining the consent from any lender and meaning that other lease plans of flats in the same building may now be inaccurate due to the extension of the original plan.

If you are faced with the need to amend a lease plan, whether you are the landlord or the tenant, it is important to obtain specialist advice.

To discuss this or any other property related issue, contact us.

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