Do you need a solicitor to extend your lease
Do you need help with your lease extension?
Whether it is serving the section 42 notice or reviewing the deed of variation to extend your lease, we have every service you need.

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Do you need a solicitor to extend your lease?

(Last Updated: 26/09/2023)
5 min read
Key Takeaways
  • You must use a solicitor (or licensed conveyancer) for certain parts of the formal or informal lease extension process
  • If you don't meet the criteria for formal extension, you rely on your freeholder, or landlord, agreeing to an informal extension
  • When a lease reduces to 80 years or less the value of the property will decrease and the extension premium will become more expensive

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Certain legal aspects of a lease extension requires a solicitor. However, there are stages that you can complete yourself if you are confident to do so. The challenge with handling part of the process without the help of a solicitor is that without the professional expertise required for complex transactions such as this, you are likely to make a mistake, such as serving an incorrectly drafted Section 42 Notice. If your notice is incorrect, it will be rejected and you will have to wait 12 months before you can try again.

Do I need a solicitor for an informal lease extension?

Even if you choose to do an informal lease extension rather than using the formal process, a solicitor, or licensed conveyancer must handle the deed of variation and your payment.

What do I need to do to extend my lease?

While the answer to: Do you need a solicitor to extend your lease? is simply yes, there are certain parts of the process you could do yourself, although we don't recommend taking this risk.

Check if you qualify for formal lease extension

You can check if you meet the eligibility criteria for a formal extension yourself, if not you can ask the freeholder if they'd be willing to extend informally.

Instruct your solicitor

Choose a lease extension specialist with good reviews and compare quotes to get a good price.

Fixed Fee | No Sale No Fee | Lease Extension Specialists

Get a lease extension valuation

Getting an independent valuation is a good way to determine a fair price for the premium. You'll need a current market valuation from a RICS surveyor. If you don't use a RICS member, you may end up paying more that the property is worth and the landlord could dispute your valuation and make you pay for another one.

RICS Surveyors | Fixed Fees | Same week availability | Access arranged

Negotiate your premium

This can be done yourself, but it will be easier with a solicitor which will often achieve a better result.

(If you can't agree on premium) Apply to Tribunal

If you are unable to compromise on a fair price for the extension, you can apply to tribunal to determine the premium.

Pay the premium

Your solicitor will handle the payment into your landlords account.

What could you do?
What does your solicitor need to do?

  • Lease Extension Valuation. The valuation can be sourced for free, using online lease extension calculators or from a RICS Surveyor. Read more - How do you value the lease extension premium?
  • Section 42 Notice. Most solicitors will draft the section 42 notice for you.
  • Deed of Variation. You'll need a solicitor to review the deed of variation to ensure it includes the correct clauses. The solicitor will also need to provide an undertaking for the freeholder's costs that you are liable for. Read more - What are the reasonable costs of the freeholder?
  • Completion. You can't pay the premium directly, so you have to pay it to your solicitor who will send it on to the freeholder's solicitor on the day of completion.

Can you use any old solicitor?
Lease extension work requires an understanding of the process and time frames. You should look to work with a lease extension solicitor who specialises in this area. We hand-select our panel solicitors for their expertise and quality service.

Free initial leasehold advice

Arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced conveyancing executives on:

Lease Extension Solicitors Consultation
  • Lease extension
  • Purchasing the leasehold, freehold or share of freehold
  • Selling a leasehold property with a short lease
  • Extending the lease at the same time as you sell

We specialise in lease extensions and have RICS valuers for the premium/negotiation and solicitors for the section 42 notice and formal or informal extension.

Request a tailored quote for:
  • RICS Lease Extension Valuation or L2 Homebuyers Survey
  • Serving of the section 42 notice, or section 13 notice on the freeholder
  • Negotiation with the freeholder (with the support of your RICS valuer)
  • Completion of the legal work, including deed of variation
  • Application to Tribunal to determine the premium
  • Vesting order for absent landlords

Frequently Asked Questions
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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