A defective lease is one that has been badly drafted. Some can be worse than others, influencing the steps that may need to be taken to rectify the matter. If the lease is badly put together, the vendor may need to obtain a ‘deed of variation’. This would require the freeholder’s permission to change the original terms of the lease. This can be a lengthy and complex process, as other leaseholders may be affected by the changes that are required to be made.
A lease lays out the terms that are applied to the property and must be adhered to by the leaseholder. The terms are put in place by the freeholder, i.e. the owner of the land. This is usually the landlord. If those terms are deemed unfair from the point of view of the leaseholder, discussions can begin to see if alterations are required and can be put in place.
As mentioned above, this can be complex, even when no other leaseholders are involved. However, if the lease is on a flat and there are several other flats with the same terms laid out in their leases, it complicates things as all other flat owners will be affected by any changes that are made.
That said, resolving the issues caused by a defective lease is important. If you have a defective lease on your leasehold property and you try to sell it in future, you could well run into problems. Such a lease would make it much harder – if not impossible – for a would-be buyer to get a mortgage on that property.