There are over 4 million leasehold properties in the UK, with the vast majority of flats sold on a leasehold basis.
The 1993 Leasehold Reform Act gives most leaseholders the right to apply for an extension to their lease at a fair market rate, as long as you have owned the property for a minimum of two years.
As a leaseholder, extending your lease places you in a stronger position. It makes the property more valuable and, if you’re looking to sell, it makes the property more appealing to potential buyers.
However, the leasehold extension process can be complex, particularly if you have less than 60 years left on the lease. It is therefore strongly recommended that you seek specialist legal advice when planning to extend your lease.
Braddon and Snow’s conveyancing team have had lots of experience in lease extension cases, and can provide specific advice on your individual case, taking into account the length of your lease, the value of your property and the ground rent, alongside other variables.
Why trust our residential conveyancing team with your lease extension?
Our team have extensive experience helping clients to extend their leases under a range of circumstances. The quality of our services is reflected in the high level of return business and personal recommendations we receive from satisfied clients.
We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional residential property expertise, clear communication and a swift service at a very competitive price.
Our team is independently accredited by the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) in recognition of the high standards of our residential property services.
Speak to our lease extension lawyers in Hoddesdon or Broxbourne
For a free, no obligation lease extension conveyancing quote or to find out more about how we can help you, please contact our lease extensions specialist, Alex Snow.
How we can help with your lease extension
Statutory lease extensions
You will usually have a statutory right to extend your lease as long as the following both apply:
- You’ve owned the lease on your property for at least 2 years.
- The original lease granted on the property was for at least 21 years.
If you qualify, you will have the right to extend the lease by 90 years on a flat or 50 years on a house.
Our lease extension lawyers can assist with the whole process, including:
- Notifying the freeholder of your intention to extend the lease
- Getting a valuation of the existing leasehold and how much it might be worth if you extend the lease
- Making a formal offer to the freeholder
- Negotiating the price of the leaseholder extension with the freeholder if required
- Reviewing the terms of the lease extensions
- Paying any deposit required by the freeholder
- Transferring the balance of payment due to the freeholder
- Updating the Land Registry with the changes to the lease
Private lease extensions through voluntary agreement with the freeholder
If you do not qualify for a statutory lease extension, it is still often possible to privately agree an extension with the freeholder. Our team can advise you on how this works and communicate with the freeholder for you, giving you the best chance of a lease extension on the terms you need.
Buying the freehold on your leasehold property
Under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, qualifying leasehold tenants have the right to buy the freehold on their property. This is known as leasehold enfranchisement. Buying the freehold can significantly increase the value of your property, free you from paying ground rent and service charges, and allow you to take over the management of your property.
Our leasehold enfranchisement lawyers can assist with:
- Advice on whether you are eligible to buy your lease
- Negotiating with the freeholder to buy the lease
- Handling transfer of funds
- Collective enfranchisement (where leaseholders in a shared building work together to buy the freehold)
Our residential lease extension fees
We typically offer fixed fee lease extension conveyancing, where we agree a price in advance. This price will include our fees and the costs we pay to third parties for things like property searches (known as ‘disbursements’).
Offering fixed fees means our clients know exactly how much their lease extension should cost in advance, so they can budget accordingly.
In the unlikely event that any unexpected complexities or other issues arise during the course of lease extensions, or there is a change to your instructions, we will agree any resultant change in fees with you before proceeding.
To see how much your conveyancing might cost, please contact our lease extensions specialist, Alex Snow.
Find out more about our residential conveyancing pricing.
Lease extensions FAQs
Is it worth extending my lease on a leasehold property?
This will depend. The longer there is remaining on a lease, the more it will be worth. If the number of years remaining falls too low, you may find the property is no longer considered mortgageable by most lenders.
Different lenders have different requirements, but many require at least 85 years left on the mortgage at the time of the purchase. Others may be willing to accept fewer years remaining, but if the time remaining on the lease falls below 60 years, it will generally be considered unmortgageable.
How long does a lease extension take?
This can vary significantly, but most lease extensions can be completed in around 4-12 months. It is important to factor this in when deciding when to extend your lease (or if you are thinking about buying a property where you will need to extend the lease).
When should I extend my lease?
This will depend on your circumstances, but as a general rule, you want to avoid the number of years remaining on the lease falling below 80.
This is because, if there are fewer than 80 years remaining on the lease, you will have to pay half of the ‘marriage value’ to the freeholder to extend the lease. The marriage value is how much the leasehold will increase in value due to the lease being extended, which can be a very substantial sum. It is therefore always best to avoid this requirement if possible.
How much does a lease extension cost?
There are various costs involved in extending the lease on a leasehold property. These include:
- The premium for extending the lease – This is the amount you pay to the freeholder for granting the lease extension. It will depend on factors including the expected value of the lease after the extension, the current ground rent and when the lease is currently set to expire.
- Half of the marriage value – if there are fewer than 80 years remaining on the existing lease. Marriage value is the expected increase in the value of the lease if an extension is granted.
- Stamp Duty Land Tax – Whether this applies and how much you have to pay will depend on factors including whether the property is your home or a rental, as well as the value of the property, the level of the premium and the level of the ground rent.
- Legal fees – These will depend on the value of the transaction and the level of work involved.
For more guidance on the level of the premium for extending a lease, please refer to the Leasehold Advisory Service’s lease extension calculator.
Speak to our leasehold extension lawyers in Hoddesdon or Broxbourne
For a free, no obligation leasehold extension conveyancing quote or to find out more about how we can help you, please contact our lease extensions specialist, Alex Snow.