FAQs

Why do I need to extend my lease?
The terms of your lease gets shorter as time passes. This means that unless the lease is going to expire someone needs to extend it at some point. The amount the owner of a flat has to pay to extend their lease will increase the shorter the term of the lease becomes.

Also, once the time left to run on your lease drops below 80 years the price that you have to pay to extend your lease can jump dramatically.

If you would like to know more contact us on freephone 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

How do I extend my lease?

There are two ways to extend your lease, the first is to approach your landlord informally and if you can agree a price you may instruct solicitors to formalise this. The disadvantages of this “informal” method are that there is no compulsion on your landlord to extend your lease either within a set timetable or indeed at all and there are also no rules regarding the price that you must pay or what the terms of your new lease will be.

The alternative is to adopt what is known as the “formal” route which involves serving Notice on the landlord which needs to be prepared by solicitors. This formal method has some real advantages:

  1. Provided that you qualify then your landlord can’t refuse to extend your lease.
  2. The law sets out a strict timetable which the landlord must comply with.
  3. The price that you pay is worked out using a formula prescribed by law so your landlord can’t just invent a figure.
  4. You can insist on 90 years being added to your lease and you won’t have to pay any more ground rent.

If you would like to know more contact us on freephone 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

Can I wait until I sell to extend my lease?
This is rarely a good idea. Potential buyers may be put off by the short lease and either not make an offer in the first place or pull out as soon as they become aware of the problem. Further, buyers who are relying on a mortgage may find the banks unwilling to lend to them because of the length of the lease. The buyers you may then be left with will often be shrewd investment purchasers who are aware you are in a difficult position and will insist on paying a lower price.

Alternatively, some non-investment buyers may be brave enough to go ahead and buy your short lease but they will invariably want you to reduce the price by what they think they may have to pay to extend the lease. By way of an example, if the likely cost to extend your lease was between £10,000 and £15,000 then a buyer will most likely ask you for at least £15,000 off the purchase price whereas if you had done it yourself it might have only cost you £10,000.

If you would like to know more contact us on freephone 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

Who can extend their lease?
Anyone who is a qualifying tenant [hyperlink to who is a qualified tenant?] can extend their lease.

Also, if the person who was a qualifying tenant died then their Executors have two years from the date of death to start the lease extension process.

If you would like to know more contact us on freephone 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

What is the informal approach for extending a lease?
The informal approach is fairly self explanatory, you simply approach the landlord informally and try to agree terms between you. The disadvantages of this informal method are that there is no compulsion on your landlord to extend your lease either in a set timetable or indeed at all. There are also no laws governing the premium that you will pay nor the terms you are leased on.

At Payne Marsh Stillwell we always advise that you follow the formal approach [hyperlink to FAQ asking what is the formal approach].

If you would like to know more contact us on freephone 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

What is the formal approach for extending a lease?

The formal approach for extending a lease involves serving a Notice under Section 42 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development 1993. Once this Notice is served a process starts. Extending your lease using a formal approach has some real advantages:

  1. Provided that you qualify then your landlord can’t refuse to extend your lease.
  2. The law sets out a strict timetable which the landlord must comply with.
  3. The price that you pay is worked out using a formula prescribed by law so your landlord can’t just invent a figure.
  4. You can insist on 90 years being added to your lease and you won’t have to pay any more ground rent.

If you would like to know more contact us on freephone 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

What will the terms of my new lease be?
Under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you are entitled to insist on a new lease of 90 years in addition to what is left to run on your existing lease. So if you have 60 years left to run then you are entitled to another 90 years giving a total of 150 years which will be the term of your new lease.

You are also entitled to insist that there will be no ground rent payable under your new lease.

If you would like to know more contact us on freephone 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

As well as the premium what other costs will I have to pay?

In addition to the landlord’s premium you will also have to pay:

  1. Your surveyor’s fees calculating the premium;
  2. Your landlord’s reasonable surveyor’s and solicitor’s fees;
  3. Some of the small charges to Land Registry which shouldn’t be more than about £100 or so.

Extending your lease is an investment, to cost incurred can be very worthwhile compared to simply leaving your lease to get shorter, see “Why should I extend my lease?

If you would like to know more contact us on freephone 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

What happens when my lease drops below 80 years?
When the terms of your lease drops below 80 years then the price you will have to pay to extend your lease can jump significantly.

If you would like to know more contact us on freephone 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

My landlord is refusing to extend my lease, can I force him to extend?
Yes, under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can force your landlord to extend your lease. At Lease Extension Solicitors we can help you from the beginning of the process to the end, we provide a straightforward no nonsense service at a reasonable price.

If you would like to know more contact us on freephone 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

How do I calculate the premium I will have to pay to extend my lease?
Use our free calculator here (add in link) as a starting guide. At Lease Extension Solicitors we work with expert valuers who will be glad to assist you.

If you would like to know more contact us on 0800 830 3388 or e-mail on enquiries@stillwellslaw.co.uk

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Group Discount

When more than one of you extends your lease in the same block, we are happy to offer you the discount set out here:

2 - 4 flats

30%

discount each

5 - 9 flats

35%

discount each

10+ flats

40%

discount each