Does a buy to let investor qualify for a lease extension?

by The Chartered Surveyor

Question

I am planning to buy a flat having 90 years of unexpired lease with a Buy to Let mortgage. I am not aware of the freeholder but there is a management company that collects ground rent. I understand from your website that to qualify for lease extension i should own the flat for at least 2 years and I should be a tenant. As mentioned earlier it will be a buy to let and therefore I will be putting it on rent. Although I will be the leaseholder I will not be physically occupying it and will not be the tenant myself, does that disqualify me for an extension of the lease?

Answer

Originally part of the qualification criteria was that the tenant should have occupied the flat in question for at least two years in order to be eligible to claim a lease extension on statutory grounds. However, this was done away with by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. So long as you have owned the flat for two years you will (with few exceptions) qualify for a statutory lease extension.