Lease Extension Solicitors

11/07/2018
Whether you are taking the formal or informal route to extend your lease, you are going to need to instruct a specialist lease extension solicitor.

The role of your solicitor depends on the route you decide to take when extending your lease; informal or formal. The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 dictates the formal lease extension process and, most importantly, the various deadlines which your solicitor must adhere to. Should your solicitor make a mistake and miss a deadline, it can cause you to have to wait 12 months before you can restart the process.

Our specialist team of lease extension solicitors can help get the lowest lease extension premium from your Freeholder. Once this premium has been agreed, they then manage the serving of the Section 42 Notice, the review of the new lease, then finally the completion and the registration of your new lease.

Do you need help extending your lease?

We have a specialist lease extension team of solicitors and surveyors and we provide:

  • RICS Lease valuation survey (read more about how this is calculated)
  • Serving of the section 42 notice on the freeholder
  • Negotiation with the freeholder (with the support of your RICS valuer)
  • Completion of the lease extension legal work

* Our quotes are fixed - We specialise in lease extensions - We explain the process in plain English

Fixed Fee, No Sale No Fee with a 5 out of 5 rating

 

Formal or Informal: 2 routes to choose between

The lease extension process starts with choosing between taking the formal or informal route.

Formal Lease Extension Route

The formal lease extension route, which is recommended, is enshrined in law (The Leasehold Reform Act 1993 as amended). It involves you hiring a RICS valuer to provide you with a lease extension valuation, then using this figure as a basis for instructing a solicitor to serve your landlord/freeholder with a Section 42 Tenant's Notice to inform them of your intentions.

Your freeholder, if available, must respond and they can either agree, with or without conditions, or disagree. Should they disagree, you (or they) have the option to take the matter to a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal which makes a final decision binding on both parties. Should you or they choose to take the tribunal option, this has to be done between 2 and 6 months of the date of service of the Section 45 Counter-Notice.

This process is explained in more detail in this article: Lease Extension Process

Pros

TickYou get a lease with an additional 90 years on top of the current lease term

TickThe ground rent goes to peppercorn (ie zero)

TickThe process must follow a prescribed route with deadlines set for completion

TickThe premium is calculated the formula contained within the Act

Cons

WarningYou have to extend for 90 years and be able to pay the premium for this amount of money (which can be in the £10,000s)

WarningThere is an additional clause in the statutory terms that states:

"the landlord’s redevelopment right giving the landlord the right to repossession of the flat for the purposes of redevelopment. This right does not arise until the end of the term of the existing lease and is subject to a court application and the payment of full compensation to the leaseholder for the full value of the remaining 90 years."


If you take this route, when you achieve success, you are granted 90 extra years on your lease and have no further ground rent to pay for your remaining term.

Serving the section 42 notice


Your solicitor obtains copies of your lease and office copies from the Land Registry to ascertain who the freeholder is, if this information is available. During this period, on the basis of your Lease Extension Valuation, they can 'sound out' your freeholder, even to the extent of making an informal offer.

The solicitor serves the section 42 notice on the Freeholder.

Lease Extension Conveyancing

Once you and your freeholder have agreed the premium you'll pay for your lease extension, your solicitor contacts your freeholder's solicitors. They have to deal with your freeholder's undertaking for reasonable costs incurred and approve the new lease, drafted by the freeholder's solicitors.

Once your solicitor has approved the new lease, then they take the process to completion and finally register the new lease with the Land Registry.

Need an experienced solicitor to carry out your lease extension conveyancing? For an unbeatable fixed fee quote, call 0333 344 3234


Informal Lease Extension Route

The informal route gives you the option to decide how many years you ideally want the extend the lease by but, critically, it contains no legal force compelling the Freeholder to allow you to extend it at all - it requires their consent. Essentially, the process is the same otherwise as for the formal route but there are no statutorily enforced time constraints which leaves open the possibility of long - and possibly expensive - delays.

In sum, the informal route does not include the serving of a Section 42 Notice or equivalent so you cannot ultimately force the Freeholder to come to terms and negotiate over a disputed valuation.

You will also require additional legal support if you choose the informal route because other matters may arise such as new terms in the lease and ground rent increasing.
Worth also noting is that there is no automatic right to have no further ground rent to pay if you take the informal route.

If you are unsuccessful in gaining your lease extension informally, you have the option to take the formal route described.

Pros

TickYou can get a lease for any length of term

TickSaves you paying for a section 42 notice

TickMakes it more affordable if you can’t afford 90 years, but can afford a lower number of years

Cons

WarningNo guarantee the process will complete

WarningThe process doesn’t follow the strict time line set in the Leasehold reform act

WarningThe valuation isn’t calculated using the formula in the Act – the Freeholder can charge anything they like

WarningYou’ll still have to pay annual ground rent


Do you require Lease Extension Solicitors?

Should you want to extend your lease, call us on 0333 344 3234 and let our lease extension solicitors help you.

*RICS Valuers - Experienced Solicitors - Fast Delivery - Competitive Prices - 0333 344 3234


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