Lease Extension Solicitors in London

A statutory lease extension adds 90 years to your lease in return for a one-off payment to your landlord. As leasehold properties are effectively wasting assets that reduce in value by the day, it often makes sense to extend leases sooner rather than later.

At HPLP Solicitors, we have a specialist team of lease extension solicitors who can talk you through whether extending your lease is right for you and guide you through the process. We are a boutique law firm that specialises only in property matters and we are one of the leading firms for leasehold property law in London. We have advised thousands of individuals over the years so you can trust that we will conduct the process smoothly and to the highest degree of accuracy.

SPEAK TO OUR LONDON LEASEHOLD SOLICITORS TODAY

If you need fast, reliable lease extension advice, contact Ash Oberoi or Yasmin Benlafki at our office in Holborn, London. Alternatively, you can fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you shortly.

We can offer new clients a free initial 30-minute consultation to discuss your needs and how we can help.

WHY CHOOSE HPLP? OUR LEASE EXTENSION EXPERTISE

Advising on lease extensions requires specialist knowledge of the law. Many firms do not have this knowledge and mistakes can happen if the correct procedures are not followed.

Our solicitors are recognised experts at handling lease extensions. We successfully complete several lease extensions every day for tenants and landlords. Our work is recognised by Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) of which we are accredited members and by LEASE, the government-funded website.

Over the last decade we have been nominated and won a number of industry standard awards for being experts in this area of law and as recently our Ash Oberoi has been nominated as a Finalist in the News on the Block, The Enfranchisement & Right to Manage Awards 2021 (ERMAs) https://www.thenotbawards.co.uk/

We can also offer you free initial advice of up to a half-hour and a fixed fee estimate so you know what you will be charged should you choose to pursue a lease extension with us.

THE BENEFITS OF EXTENDING YOUR LEASE

There are two primary benefits to extending your lease:

  • Protecting your investment: Your leasehold property loses value each day the lease becomes shorter. A lease extension will result in an increase in the value of your flat.
  • Easier sale: As the number of years left on a lease decreases, your lease becomes harder to sell. This is because most lenders do not accept short leases. They may also expect a substantial discount on the purchase price. Extending the lease overcomes this issue.

The cost of extending your lease rises significantly when the current lease drops below 80 years – even by a day. So, if your lease has 80 years or more to run, act now and pay a reduced premium.

Does My Flat Qualify?

If you are considering a lease extension, the first two questions you need to ask are:

  • Have I owned my flat for at least 2 years?
  • Is it a "long lease" – meaning, was it originally granted for more than 21 years?

BRIEF GUIDE ON HOW TO EXTEND YOUR LEASE*

The law that outlines the lease extension process is section 42, Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.

Your Notice of Claim

The process commences when you serve notice on the landlord, in which you offer a premium to the landlord in return for your lease extension. Once the notice is served you become responsible for your landlord's "reasonable" legal and valuation fees for dealing with the claim, and he or she may instruct a surveyor to inspect the building to prepare a valuation for the "counter notice."

Landlord's Counter Notice

Your landlord has just over two months to reply to your notice with his or her "counter notice." His or her counter notice will either accept your claim (or deny it) and is likely to counter offer a premium that is likely to be higher than what he or she might ultimately agree with you or what might ultimately be determined.

Negotiations with Landlord

You will then have between zero and six months within which to negotiate the premium and terms of the new lease with the landlord. If it is not possible to reach an agreement, we can also assist you to apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for a determination.

Grant of New Lease

Once the premium and terms of the new lease are agreed or determined, you have a further zero to four months to complete the lease extension and pay the premium and costs. The solicitor conducts all conveyancing work to ensure the new 90-year lease is legally completed and registered at the Land Registry.

WHEN SHOULD YOU EXTEND A LEASE?

There is never really a “wrong” time to extend your lease. The basic rule with leases is, the longer your lease, the more valuable it is. The cost of extending a lease is partially calculated according to how much value the property will gain. This means that the shorter your lease, the more expensive it is likely to be to extend it. Therefore, extending it as soon as possible is the best option for many flat owners.

If your lease is shorter than 80 years, you should certainly try to extend it as the property becomes increasingly difficult to sell or remortgage for every year it drops below 80 years. Do not wait until your property falls below 80 years because, for the reasons above, the cost of lease extension will get more expensive the longer you wait.

Even if your lease is over 90 years, extending it can get rid of your ground rent responsibilities, saving you a lot of money over the years.

CAN I EXTEND THE LEASE ON MY HOUSE?

Yes, you can ask your landlord to extend your lease if you own a leasehold house. If you go through the legal method of lease extension, you can extend your lease up to 50 years. If you negotiate informally with your landlord, there is no limit to how many years you can add.

However, few people choose to extend the lease on their house because most also have the legal right to buy the freehold from the landlord. By buying the freehold you become the full owner of the house, including the land it stands on. You will no longer have a landlord and will no longer have to pay ground rent and service pages. For further information about buying the freehold of a house, visit our Freehold Purchase Solicitors page.

HOW LONG DOES A LEASE EXTENSION TAKE?

Lease extension usually takes about 3 to 12 months depending on the factors involved. For example, a straightforward extension where the leaseholder and the landlord quickly agree a purchase price and a lease extension agreement will not take as long as a disputed case where the landlord does not agree that the tenant has the right to an extension.

Instructing a legal expert who specialises in lease extensions can help the process along because they will be qualified to deal with all issues efficiently and competently, reducing the risk of any disputes or unnecessary delays.

SPEAK TO OUR LONDON LEASEHOLD SOLICITORS TODAY

If you need fast, reliable lease extension advice, contact Ash Oberoi or Yasmin Benlafki at our office in Holborn, London. Alternatively, you can fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you shortly.

We can offer new clients a free initial 30-minute consultation to discuss your needs and how we can help.

*Please note, the above is just a brief guide of some of the steps and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. For a more detailed guide with all the steps and procedures and for more advice please contact us directly.