Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Are Bank of Ireland Closing the Door on Leasehold Properties?

Yesterday, Bank of Ireland became the 14th lender this year to change their minimum lease term requirements via amendments to the CML Handbook Instructions.

Section 5.14.1 (What minimum unexpired lease term does the lender accept?) used to read "70 years unexpired from the date of completion of the mortgage".

This has now been changed to "Yes, subject to a minimum lease term of 85 years. The unexpired lease term must be at least the mortgage term plus 45 years."

Changing to an absolute minimum of 85 years remaining is not only going to render a significant proportion of properties unmortgageable to BOI but may catch some lawyers out who may be about to sign off on COTs.

Coincidentally, yesterday at a Law Society event, Mr Bl├╝thner Speight, a senior manager at professional indemnity insurer Zurich, accused lenders of placing “onerous obligations” on solicitors by way of the CML Handbook and enjoying the advantages of “guaranteed insurance cover” when it all went wrong.