Owners in the town of Alston and its surrounding areas, tend to have issues when they sell, due to their legal titles being created out of the “Alston 1,000-year Lease”. The history of the legal arrangement is summarised on the Alston Historical Society’s web site but the problem is that the actual leases,dating back to the 17th century, are unavailable.
As a result, Land Registry register titles to individual properties as a qualified leasehold title and this becomes a concern for lawyers and lenders, severely delaying transaction times.
There are a number of reasons that this makes a sale more difficult. The very fact that the title is leasehold rather than freehold will impact marketability (ask any estate agent) particularly given recent and ongoing moves by government to stop developers selling leasehold houses. This in turn could affect the value of the property – although with over 600 years left on the Alston leases, this is could be argued to be an academic point. Other issues arise due to the fact that the lease is unavailable and the landlord is unknown which causes concern with lenders.
Humble and Clark Legal have worked through this issue with clients over the years and have seen many transactions being delayed or aborted because of this aspect. As a result we have looked at how to overcome the dreaded Alston Lease.
It is possible to convert most Alston leasehold titles to a qualified freehold title, at reasonable cost. This will not result in an absolute freehold title, but the qualified nature is similar to that on the leasehold. The very fact that it will be on a freehold title is a marked “upgrade”. This removes the first hurdle to marketing.
Our client Julie Coonan, Swans Head, Alston said....
"Humble and Clark approached us to see if we would like help with obtaining the freehold on our property. Having the freehold for us would give us peace of mind and in the event of us selling the property would make the process simpler.
For us it has been a quick and easy process and we are delighted to have the freehold. Humble and Clark's communication and professionalism has been very good and they kept us updated at every stage, we are happy to recommend them for this service."
If interested, please contact us on 01434 602531 to instruct. quoting Alston Lease.