The long lease

There has been a great deal of talk about 99-year leases which seems to have many, including Parliament, in a frenzy. What does a 99-lease entail? What happens at the end of the lease? Can your children inherit this piece of land? Below we answer some of the key concerns when it comes to a long lease.

August 27, 2019

What is a long lease?

Firstly, a property lease is an agreement whereby the lessor (person who rents out the property) agrees to give temporary use and enjoyment over the relevant property for a set period of time to the lessee (person who is renting the property).

A long lease is a lease which is valid for 10 – 99 years, taking into account any renewal periods. Unlike a standard lease, a long lease gives the lessee a limited real right against the property which is then registered against the Title Deed of the property in the Deeds Office, in the same way as other forms of property ownership would be.

Can a long lease be renewed?

Depending on the agreement entered into between the two parties, a long lease can typically be renewed limitlessly. It can also be concluded for the lifetime of the lessee or any other person mentioned in the lease.

Can a long lease be transferred?

The rights conferred by a long lease can be sold at any time by the leaseholder and can be transferred to the beneficiaries or to their estate should the leaseholder pass away prior to the termination of the lease.

What are the benefits of a long lease?

Because a long lease is registered against the title deed of a property, it provides security to the lessee in the form of this limited real right and ensures the lessee can enjoy the property without disturbance. In addition, the lessee can enjoy the use of the property, including any rights conferred to him or her by the terms of the lease agreement (even against any creditors). Long leases can also be beneficial for business owners as they can lease commercial properties situated in prime locations through a long lease, especially on state owned land.

Written by Wessel de Kock

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