Lease extensions for an impact investment fund targeting homelessness

An impact investment fund tackling major societal issues sought our assistance to optimise the tenure of their portfolio of homes and reduce annual ground rent expenditure, through the negotiation of lease extensions on some of their properties.

 

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Leasehold Enfranchisement

Across London

30 units

 

Ambition

Resonance has created and manages twelve operational social impact investment funds, which focus on tackling some of the major societal issues in the UK such as homelessness, poverty, health and wellbeing and education. The client, Real Lettings Property Fund, has sourced, purchased and refurbished a large portfolio of properties in the Greater London area. The Fund has leased these properties to homelessness charity St Mungo’s Real Lettings team, who let properties to families and individuals who may be at risk of homelessness. Real Lettings Property Fund seeks to provide investors with a commercial risk-adjusted return on their investment, including both rental yield and capital appreciation on properties.

The client wanted to optimise the tenure of the portfolio and reduce annual ground rent expenditure. Some apartments in the portfolio were owned on shortening leases and subject to a ground rent with future increases. The above had negative implications for value, future marketability, and security for loan.

How we worked together

Working with the client’s portfolio manager, JLL explained the statutory rights available to the client as a leaseholder and identified those properties in need of a statutory lease extension.  We formulated a phased strategy over a two/three year period, prioritising where the cost and value implications were greatest.  Our team also introduced the client to specialist legal advisors to work on the project.

JLL’s strategy advice was that the ‘priority’ Year 1 phase should be those properties where the leases were close to 80 years unexpired, and the lease extension premium payable was at risk of doubling due to ‘marriage value’ compensation, and the following phases should be those where the cost implications were less acute. We undertook a process of inspections, research and property specific valuation reports, in accordance with the statutory valuation methodology, and following service of the notice of claim undertook the lease extension premium negotiations for the client with the landlord’s valuers.

 

Challenges

Some of the portfolio had been owned for less than two years, which is necessary under the qualification criteria for a statutory lease extension.  Having reviewed the Land Registry information, we identified those properties and liaised with the client and their legal team to ensure these lease extension claims were made at the correct time to avoid invalid claims and unnecessary costs for the client.

Achieved

Constant liaison with the client and their legal advisors was maintained to reach a successful outcome. JLL’s expertise and experience provided the client with an achievable and time specific strategy to realise its goals with. Cost minimisation was at the core of our strategy, at each stage of the process right through to the negotiated settlement.

Negotiated settlements have been successfully reached to agree the lease extension premiums on all cases in the project, being the least costly scenario for the client.