Share of Freehold Lease Extension for Short Lease
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Share of Freehold Lease Extension Process & Cost

(Last Updated: 07/12/2023)
13 min read

Key Takeaways

The lease extension process when you own a share of freehold should mean that you can save time and money because:

  • You can agree to extend to the maximum 999 years with a Peppercorn Ground Rent
  • You can save costs on legal fees if the terms are undisputed
  • All share of freeholders can update their lease at the same time
  • You can agree to waive the premium payable to the freeholders for the extension
  • A share of freehold lease extension costs £720 - £920 but it will be more expensive if you have to take the formal route.

Issues arise where the share of freeholders do not consent tot he extension or if they are absent IE not around to give authority to the extension.

Share of freehold lease extension process

    Agree with the share of freeholders to the extension
    Instruct a solicitor to draft a new lease. This is an informal lease extension with no prescribed timeframes.
    (if mortgage) Draft Deed of Substituted Security
    Submit lease to share of freeholders and leaseholder to sign
    Surrender old lease and submit new lease to the Land Registry

The process is complicated if the share of freeholders aren't in agreement or if one of the share of freeholders is absent and a vesting order is required.

Share of Freehold Lease Extension with SAM Conveyancing. Image shows 14 open windows of a block of flats with different share of freeholders living in their leasehold flats.

This article looks at the following:

    Why should you extend your share of freehold lease?
You should extend your lease as a share of freeholder, particularly if it is short, because:
  • Your individual lease becomes more valuable;
  • You'll be able to remortgage (you can't on a 'short' lease);
  • You make it easier to sell your leasehold if you wish to.
If you have the opportunity to extend your lease now (other share of freeholders consent) you should grab it, because you don't know if, further down the line, should you be required to extend it (say to remortgage), you might be unable to find all the share of freeholders to get agreement or unable to get consent. Either of these will result in a more costly and drawn out process.

Got a mortgage? Then you'll need your lender's consent for your lease extension

As a general rule of thumb, if you're using or have used a mortgage to buy a home, you'll always need to refer to the lender involved for consent if you want to do anything that affects the property's title, such as extend its lease length or remortgage against it.

You should have no difficulty getting consent for a lease extension in the vast majority of cases however, because you're planning to carry out something which will add value to the asset.

    How you can you best prepare yourself to extend your share of freehold lease?
  • You must get the agreement of the other share of freeholders to proceed with the lease extension first otherwise, as stated, you might ultimately have to go through a drawn-out statutory procedure with court proceedings, which is likely to cost far more. This is discussed below.
  • You should also get confirmation from your other share of freeholder/s that you're appointing a solicitor to act on behalf of both freeholder and you yourself as leaseholder (this will save money on legal costs) and that you will be liable for associated costs.
  • Finally, you should confirm whether 999 Years is to be the term of the lease extension and whether you will be charged a peppercorn rent.

    Do you need to get a RICS freehold valuation in order to extend your share of freehold lease?
You don't need to get a RICS freehold valuation for your lease extension but you are advised to get one in the rare event that you are required to pay a premium, such that this premium can be worked out as fairly as possible.

You should not have to pay any premium when you lease extend as a share of freeholder

There is no obvious reason why you would get a freehold valuation for a lease extension as a share of freeholder because all you want to do - and most often, the other freeholder/s with you - is extend the lease to 999 years and make or keep the rent 'peppercorn'.

It's true that if you weren't a share of freeholder and wanted to extend your lease, your freeholder would want to get value (the premium) for selling you an enriched asset and thus an expert calculation would be critical. But as a share of freeholder, effectively you'd be paying yourself in part.

Additionally, whatever procedure is agreed for carrying out your share of freeholder lease extension will have to be carried out if anyone else wants to extend their lease in turn: if you're expected to pay a premium then any other share of freeholder will have to in future. Once again, this would be self-defeating, although not technically impossible.

    What is the share of freehold lease extension process?
Assuming you have agreement from your other share of freeholders to proceed, you should get an undertaking from your other share of freeholder/s that your solicitor is going to act for you and for the freeholder, thus waiving your right to independence - this saves costs. Your solicitor then proceeds with the required conveyancing.

You would only get a RICS valuation of your freehold before instructing your solicitor if you're expected to pay a premium, but, for reasons explained above, it's highly unlikely that you'd be expected to pay a premium.

You then normally have 2 options regarding the format of the new lease:

Option 1: An entirely new lease is drawn up
This option involves all the terms of all the leases in the building being rewritten. You only normally need to do this if:
  • the current leases are substantially defective in many respects; or
  • the format of the lease differs throughout the building - they should ideally be uniform in all key aspects.
Option 2 A deed of surrender and re-grant is created
Effectively this is a ‘short form’ of a new lease which refers back to the majority of the terms of the existing lease and only amends the length of the term (normally to 999 years) and reduces the rent (normally to a 'peppercorn', i.e. there is no rent payable). Additionally you can choose to incorporate minor amendments to the leases for example you might remove any covenanted restriction against keeping pets in a leasehold or you might want to add a covenant which enables the freeholder to act against breaches of leasehold contract.

The majority of leases are extended in this way.

Your solicitor draws up the new lease (which is then registered) and completes the required conveyancing.

Our experienced solicitors can guide you through this process highly efficiently.

Lenders and mortgage deeds

If your leasehold has a mortgage and your lender has consented to your plan to extend your share of freehold lease, in order to comply with the Land Registry's requirements as part of your conveyancing you'll have to sign either:
  • a deed of substituted security – this substitutes the new lease as security for the mortgage, in place of the original lease; or
  • a new mortgage deed – in this case the lender will have to notify the registry on completion that the original mortgage is discharged.

Do you have to pay stamp duty on a lease extension?

Lease extensions are usually exempt from stamp duty because where the surrender of a lease is given in consideration of a new lease being granted between the same parties, neither the surrender of the old lease or the grant of the new lease are regarded as chargeable consideration for the purposes of stamp duty.

You don’t have to tell HMRC or pay stamp duty when you buy a new or assigned lease of 7 years or more, as long as the premium is less than £40,000 and the annual rent is less than £1,000.

You also don't have to inform HMRC or pay stamp duty when you assign or surrender a residential or non-residential lease (granted for 7 years or more) and the chargeable consideration is less than £40,000.

That said, if you are extending a lease on a property which is not your only property and the agreed premium is £40,000 or over, then the 3% stamp duty surcharge will apply: please call our experts for more information on this topic - 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply).

    How long does a share of freehold lease extension take?
Assuming you have lender consent (if required) and consent from the other share of freeholders, you should be able to extend your lease in a matter of weeks (perhaps 4 - 6 weeks), although this will depend on individual circumstance.

    How much is a share of freehold lease extension likely to cost?
SAM Conveyancing charges £920 Inc VAT for the conveyancing for extending a single lease as part of a share of freehold. This falls to £720 Inc VAT per leasehold title if there is more than one as long as they are all part of the same share of freehold block.

In the rare event that you require a RICS leasehold valuation as well, SAM Conveyancing charges £600 Inc VAT for this 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

    What happens if your other share of freeholders refuse to allow your lease extension?
You then have to take the 'formal' statutory route to lease extension, you can effectively force the other shareholders to agree the premium required to grant you a 90 year lease extension with a peppercorn rent.

This is a more expensive process and protracted process for which you are strongly advised to get a RICS freehold valuation and instruct experienced lease extension solicitors. The quicker you can find agreement as a rule in all these matters, the cheaper the outcome will be. The formal process at its most extreme can involve an application to a tribunal, at which point the freeholder must pay their own costs, a further encouragement to settle the matter.

    What happens if you can't locate your other share of freeholder/s for your lease extension?
You have to apply to court for a Vesting Order (click to read our main article on this topic). You will need to make demonstrable efforts to find the absent share of freeholder and there are costs involved as well as time limits to adhere to.

This situation can occur in unexpected ways. There have been many cases where a previous share of freeholder has sold their leasehold interest to someone else but, perhaps inadvertently, has not sold on their share in the freehold interest.

It remains then that legally they must be consulted if someone wants to extend their lease, but they might not be easily found.

The situation can also occur if one of the share of freeholders gets repossessed: the lender has no right to transfer the share of freehold away from them. And people in this position have sometimes been known to be found or appear years later, seeking huge remuneration for the sale of their freehold interest.

Tip: Establish a Limited Company to Run Your Share of Freehold if Feasible

Holding your share of freehold interest collectively in a limited company enables you to place special provisions in the memorandum and articles of association linking the ownership of the freehold automatically to the ownership of the flats.

This can greatly assist you in the future as it enables a Director (which can be any one of the share of freeholders) to transfer a share even if it was not dealt with by an outgoing share of freehold leasehold tenant and so avoid the troublesome situation on resale or repossession referred to above.

If you haven't set this up in your company articles it may well be worth doing so.

The flipside is that, if you form a limited company, you'll have legal requirements to file formal returns and accounts, even if they are dormant, at least once a year, and the penalties for non-compliance are relatively high. If your company is struck off the Company Register and dissolved, it is costly and can be time-consuming to restore it to the register. It also may not make sense in terms of time, costs and returns, to formalise matters in this way if there are just two or three of you sharing a freehold.

It should be clear from this and from other matters above, however, that it's well worth moving the value of the freehold to the leasehold, regardless of whether you run your share of freehold as a company or on an individual basis.

    Appendix 1: Diagram of the formal lease extension process (other share of freeholders don't agree to lease extension)

    Appendix 2: Cost of the formal lease extension process (other share of freeholders don't agree to lease extension)

Lease Extension
(Estimated costs)

RICS Lease Valuation

£600 Inc VAT

Section 42 notice legal fees

£600 INC VAT

Lease extension legal fees £720
Other costs include:
Stamp Duty
You don’t have to tell HMRC or pay SDLT when
you buy a new or assigned lease of 7 years or more,
as long as the premium is less than £40,000 and the
annual rent is less than £1,000

Land Registration
Based on the property value.
Read about the land registration charge

Online Identification (per Person)
Read what ID does your solicitor need

Official Copy of Register & Title Plan (per title)

Official Copy of Lease

Bankruptcy and OS1 priority land registry fee

Registration of the Section 42 notice at the
Land Registry
(formal route only)

Additional solicitor’s legal fee for
Deed of substituted security
(only if mortgage)

£120 INC VAT

Are you a share of freeholder and need a lease extension because of a short lease?

It may be that you're looking to remortgage or wanting to sell up and your lender or prospective buyer expects this and may be pressuring you to move quickly.

NB You will need the permission of the other share of freeholder/s to extend your lease. If you cannot get this for any reason, call us or request a call back for free initial advice on your options.

Our experienced share of freehold lease extension solicitors can help you complete your lease extension efficiently and at a reasonable price.

Fixed Fee – No Sale No Fee – On all Major Lender Panels

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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