What is a Lease Extension?

A lease is granted to a leaseholder by a freeholder for a specific number of years. At the end of that time, the lease ends and full ownership of the property goes back to the freeholder. A lease extension increases the length of the original term of the lease, and puts off the date when the freeholder takes back possession.

Why do I need to extend my lease?

As the term of your lease drops below 99 years, the value of your property may start to decrease. Once the lease drops below the 80 year mark, it decreases in value faster and you may have problems selling it, or obtaining a mortgage on it.

Why is it important to extend my lease?

Many mortgage lenders are requesting a minimum term of 70 years remaining at completion of a new mortgage – therefore extending the lease may be essential when dealing with properties built in the 1960's and 70s.

How do I extend my lease?

Extending your lease is complex: you need a surveyor to value the property and negotiate the terms of the extension and a solicitor to complete the legal work. Our aim is to make this process simple for you by providing all the experienced professional services you need under one roof to save you time and money and give you peace of mind throughout the transaction. If you have already negotiated an extension with your freeholder, we can provide a solicitor-only service.

Do I qualify to extend my lease?

All leaseholders have the option to negotiate an extension to their lease with their freeholder. However, many residential leaseholders have a legal right to a 90 year extension if they have owned their property for at least 2 years, own a lease which was a long lease when it was granted and the property is not in a small category of exemptions. If the property was part of a shared ownership scheme, you must own 100%.

Your freeholder is entitled to a payment for this extension, known as a premium, which is calculated according to the terms of the lease, and the value of the property. If you qualify for a statutory lease extension, your freeholder can try to negotiate the amount of the premium but he cannot avoid extending the lease and he cannot use delaying tactics to increase the amount of the premium.

Do I have any other options?

If you do not qualify, or the premium for a statutory lease extension is too expensive, it may still be possible to obtain a non-statutory lease extension. You could choose to negotiate a shorter extension and/or increased ground rent to try to achieve a lower premium. However, if you choose this option, your freeholder can't be forced to agree to extend your lease and you may end up paying more for the extension in the long run. This could happen through your freeholder spinning out the negotiation process, while the term of your lease continues to fall, making the extension more expensive, especially if the term drops below the crucial 80 year mark, so that the marriage value becomes a factor.

For more information please see the Process , Glossary and FAQs