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Two minutes with Emma Biddle of leasehold enfranchisement experts Egerton

April 10th 2022

Being a small practice, we have good team spirit. We are all friends as well as colleagues and genuinely enjoy working together.
The other thing is that as case law is always changing we have to keep up to date with the latest Tribunal determinations. This keeps our brains active and ensures we work closely alongside the solicitors.

Q) Why did Egerton decide to partner with the team at LMGL?

LMGL is offering a service that does require specialist professional knowledge and that is where we come in. Previously we have had clients who have struggled to raise the funds to extend their lease as they were not eligible for a mortgage due to their age. LMGL has managed to solve this and so together we can help more people extend their leases.

Q) Tell us a bit about how the relationship works?

Egerton work as part of a team, which is LMG, a process to assist leaseholders of equity release age, trapped with mid-term leases. It brings together all the professional expertise which is required to enfranchise, combines this with a financial assistance to fund the costs of enfranchisement and once the 90-year lease is agreed it arranges a lifetime mortgage with Key Retirement Solutions to pay the 90-year premium. It is a wraparound service for people of an age who would probably struggle to put a team together by themselves.

Q) What excites you most about Lifetime Mortgage Gateway?

The potential for people to free themselves from diminishing leases and to access professional services and funds that may have been closed to them previously.

Q) What do you make of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill that recently passed?

It will be good for people purchasing new build properties and will make developers think twice about tying people into iniquitous costs

Q) What else needs to be done to support assist leaseholders in England and Wales?

One area where leaseholders need help is for mid-term leaseholders, they need to better understand that their leases diminish in value a bit every year. A rising market may make it look like it isn’t, but it does, it is an irrefutable fact of leasehold ownership sub 80-years.

Q) Who in your industry has helped to make the sector a better place?

There are a number of leading lights in the world of enfranchisement, but there is a collective professional responsibility to get it right.

Q) What three things would you do if you were heading up leasehold reform?

In the Law Commission’s report they recommended a number of potential options to the government. The three that I feel should be introduced immediately are:
1. Lease extensions being 990 years rather than 90 years. Previously I have extended some very short leases and then a few years later I was extending them again. This would have saved my client money.
2. Abolish the two year ownership rule which would open up extensions to more leaseholders.
3. Allow the tenant’s surveyor to only deal with the competent landlord’s (normally the freeholder’s) professionals only rather than the head lessees as this takes up more time for the tenant’s professionals in negotiations and time costs money.

 


Could your client benefit from a mid-term leasehold extension?

Lifetime Mortgage Gateway (LMG) helps leaseholders extend their mid-term leases to enable them to qualify for a Lifetime Mortgage.

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