Leaseholders enquiring about lease extension rose by almost 400% in 2007 reports The Ringley Group, Leasehold Guidance Service. The Ringley Group's consumer website www.leaseholdguidance.com reports that the number of enquiries for lease extensions has gone up dramatically. Mary Anne Bowring, Managing Director of Ringley and a governor for the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) predicts this figure will increase even further due to the hardening of the residential property market and growing number of properties with short leases. We are receiving double the amount of enquiries each month on leasehold issues, the top enquiry being lease extensions, with absentee freeholder problems and freehold purchase close behind. Continued growth is expected as it is inevitable that leases can only get shorter and as the market hardens a long lease will become critical to persuade would-be buyers that your property is as good an investment as the next. In London leases of 40-60 years are now common, says Bowring. Leaseholders who have owned the property for two years have a legal right to claim a 90 year lease extension which can add value to the property.
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