How to choose an expert to value your leasehold extension



Checklist provided by

The  Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners

Additional checklist:

How to choose a leasehold legal expert


Important information to gather about your residential leasehold property or a property you are thinking of purchasing before contacting an expert valuer

• Address of the property

• Lease length. Please note that it costs more to extend your lease or buy your freehold once the lease falls below 80 years, as marriage value becomes payable to your freeholder. For just £3 you can download the leasehold title from the Land Registry website, which will show you the exact lease length without having to take anyone else’s word for it.

• Ground rent payable

• Approximate value


Freeholder’s details: What is the freeholder like?

Many flat owners discover too late that they have bought a property where the freeholder is managing the property badly and levying excessive service charges and offering overpriced lease extensions. The best way to get to the bottom of this is to ring on the doorbells of neighbouring flats, but make sure that you are speaking to the owner and not just a tenant! If it turns out the freeholder is a monster, check that you can buy them out. If not, walk away!

• How is the building managed? Are the communal areas well maintained, garages painted, etc.?

Questions to ask when choosing an expert valuer to determine how much you should pay for a lease extension/share of freehold purchase transaction

Are they a member of the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors)?
  Are they a member of ALEP?
  Do they have a clear fee structure? (Fixed fee or hourly rate?) 
  Are they experienced in the geographical location of the property?
  Are they able to provide you with details of a satisfied referee?
What is their website like? Can they communicate clearly and effectively?
Are they specialist in dealing with leasehold matters (enfranchisement), i.e. do they have a specialist team?
Are they experienced at giving evidence before a Tribunal?
How many times have they appeared at a Tribunal?
Do they act predominantly for leaseholders or freeholders?
Are they prepared to provide any initial advice over the telephone free of charge?

All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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