Desktop lease extension valuations during the coronavirus

Linz Darlington | May 2020

For the majority of flats in England and Wales a desktop valuation is all that is required for a lease extension. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, many of our lease extension valuations were done on a desktop basis.

Unlike valuations for selling or mortgaging your property, a lease extension valuation doesn’t take into account the condition of your flat. It assumes your property is in a basic, maintained condition – this means there is often no need for an on-site visit.

Doing a desktop lease extension valuation actually allows us to dedicate more time to analysing the available information, to ensure we provide you with a robust valuation.

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What you need for a desktop lease extension valuation

When valuing any flat, there is a huge amount of information available on the flat itself, similar flats in the same block, the local area and on the local housing market which we can use to conduct an accurate valuation. We find, collect and analyse this information from the Land Registry, estate agents, property websites and auction websites.

The only detail we may need from you personally is a floor plan of your flat, similar to the one below. However, even this can usually be sourced from a copy of the lease or from marketing information from the last time the property was sold or rented.

The exception to this is if you own a unique flat for which there are no directly comparable properties available online (for example converted houses). If this is case, it will sometimes be necessary to inspect the property – Homehold will carry out the on-site survey at no extra cost to you, in line with government coronavirus safety regulations.

Why you need a lease extension valuation

Getting a lease extension valuation is the first of three stages in the lease extension process. A good valuation simplifies the whole process and will end up saving you money.

Your valuation tells you what you can expect to pay by giving you a high figure and a low figure. The high figure is the most the freeholder can reasonably ask for and the low figure is the least you can expect to pay – this is the price we aim for.

Having a solid valuation with evidence to back it up will allow us to challenge your freeholder’s price and help us get you a better deal.

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Is now a good time to carry out a lease extension?

The economic uncertainty around coronavirus brings advantages for leaseholders who want to extend their leases now:

  • Lower premiums: fluctuations in the housing market allow you to argue for lower premiums
  • Quick settlements: economic uncertainty means many freeholders are more likely to accept a settlement on a lease extension
  • Lower fees: freeholders often insist on needless in-person valuations so they can inflate the fees they charge you. In-person valuations are on hold during the pandemic which means freeholders will have to bring their costs down

Click here to find out more about why now is a good time to extend your lease.

Homehold’s desktop lease extension surveys

Our survey gives you an accurate estimate of what you can expect to pay for your lease extension, with evidence to help negotiate the best price for you. The service includes:

  • checking eligibility: we’ll review your property title to make sure you are eligible for a lease extension (if you aren’t eligible, we’ll give you a full refund)
  • carrying out the survey remotely: we’ll find, collect and analyse the information available to complete the survey remotely. In the rare cases where we can’t find enough information online, we’ll carry out an on-site survey at no extra cost
  • providing an estimate and a report: we’ll give you an estimate of the fair range for your lease extension alongside a detailed report of how we arrived at the figures and what our negotiating position will be with the freeholder
  • estimating freeholder fees: we’ll give you an estimate of how much you can expect to pay for the freeholder’s surveying and legal fees

We are of course happy to discuss your report & estimates over email or on the phone to answer any questions you might have.

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What are the next steps after your lease extension valuation?

There are three stages to completing your lease extension:

  1. Desktop valuation: get an estimate of what you can expect to pay, with a report to back it up
  2. Negotiation: use your valuation to agree on a price for the lease extension with your freeholder
  3. Legal update: update your lease to reflect your extended term and reduced ground rent with a licensed conveyor or solicitor

Find out how much it would cost you to extend your lease with our Lease Extension Calculator.

How Homehold can help

Homehold can help you with your lease extension every step of the way.

You’ll have one friendly, responsive person handling your case who will support you throughout. Our aim is to try and make your lease extension as simple, inexpensive and stress-free as possible.

Our service costs £650+VAT for our valuation and estimate stage, or you can do it as part of our full lease extension process which costs £1,950+VAT.

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You have a right to extend your lease!

Read our step by step guide on how to do it

Finding this useful?

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Linz is the CEO and co-founder of Homehold. He’s always looking at how we can improve our service and better support you through the lease extension process. If you have any questions about your lease he’d be delighted to help.

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