Lease Extensions

Lease Extension Service & Advice

Why apply for a Lease Extension?

A Residential Lease Extension is something that you should consider if the term on your property lease is approaching 80 years. Once your lease term drops below 80 years, it could make it more difficult to sell or mortgage your leasehold property.

A short lease term can put mortgage lenders off, and they may be less likely to approve applications from prospective buyers. In turn, it could also create an obstacle when you are looking to mortgage your property, given that the diminishing value may mean it is considered to be less viable security. A lease extension can assist in negating such issues. Working with an experienced solicitor or legal professional to assist you through the lease extension process can be of considerable benefit given the critical importance of ensuring legal formalities are properly complied with.

Would you benefit from a Lease Extension?

If the term left on your lease is approaching 80 years, you should give serious consideration to seeking an extension of the term of your lease. It may be beneficial for you to consider seeking one for a number of important reasons. If your lease term goes below 80 years:

  • The property may be more difficult to sell, as mortgage lenders may be more reluctant to approve applications from prospective buyers.
  • You may have difficulty mortgaging your property, as mortgage lenders will consider the diminishing value of the property as less viable security.
  • When extending your lease you would have to pay an additional charge to the freeholder known as ‘marriage value.’

Extending your lease agreement might sound simple, but there can be some complicated factors involved. One of these is whether a ‘marriage value’ needs to be paid to the freeholder, which is an additional charge which reflects the increase in the value of the property following the completion of the lease extension. Our lease renewal solicitors can help to establish whether this needs to be paid, and advise you on the process that needs to be followed to seek a lease extension.

Right to a Lease Extension

The Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended) is legislation which provides an opportunity for residential lease owners to obtain an additional term of 90 years (on top of the present unexpired term), at a peppercorn rent (which is effectively ‘rent free’).

The Lease Extension Procedure

Once you are ready to proceed with seeking a lease extension, we will work with you throughout the process. This involves a number of steps, and we have briefly summarised these below:

Step 1 – Valuation of premium

The premium that should be paid to the freeholder needs to be calculated. This can be done using online tools such as lease extension calculators, but we always advise that our clients obtain a professional valuation from a suitably qualified valuation surveyor. The surveyor can also assist you by providing advice on counter-offers received from the freeholder or other valuation matters that arise during the process.

Step 2 – Serve notice on freeholder

A notice will need to be prepared and served on the freeholder setting out your intention to extend the lease; detailing the premium you are offering to pay, and setting a deadline by which the freeholder needs to respond.

Step 3 – Receive counter notice from freeholder

The freeholder may accept the request, agree the premium offered and you can proceed to completion.

The freeholder may accept the request but demand a higher premium. In this situation we can negotiate for you until a reasonable sum is offered or agreed.

Where, after service of the freeholder’s counter-notice you and the freeholder cannot agree on the premium to be paid, or some other aspects of the lease extension, there is a statutory period for negotiation of at least two months but not more than six months. After the initial two months either party can apply to the Tribunal for an independent determination on the issue.

In cases where the freeholder fails to serve a counter-notice by the date specified in the leaseholder’s notice, the leaseholder may apply to the court for a ‘Vesting Order’. This application is not for a court order requiring the freeholder to serve the counter-notice but effectively takes the matter out of the freeholder’s hands in a request to the court to grant the new lease to the leaseholder in the freeholder’s default. The court will grant the Order on the terms proposed in the leaseholder’s notice.

Step 4 – Agreement is reached: register new lease

When an agreement or determination is reached, we will draft and negotiate the relevant paperwork, including the lease renewal deed with the freeholder or the freeholder’s solicitors. Following its completion, we will make an application to the Land Registry to register the new lease.

Get in Touch

It is important that all relevant legal formalities are complied with to avoid any issues with your lease extension. Valens Solicitors is able to assist you by providing all required advice and assistance with your lease extension.

We can assist you in assist you in determining whether you and your lease meet the eligibility criteria to seek a lease extension and if so, we can help you in all stages of the lease extension procedure.

We are efficient, cost-effective and experienced lease extension solicitors based in Watford. We have a team of legal experts that will ensure that all legal formalities are complied with whilst seeking your lease extension, and can also act for you in relation to any associated transaction.

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Our Expertise

As the expertise of our team of solicitors and legal staff extends to landlord and tenant matters, including residential lease extensions. We can help you to navigate the legal process, making it straight forward and easy to understand.

Our team will ensure that all legal formalities are complied with whilst seeking your lease extension. Should you require, we can also act for you in relation to any associated transaction, such as selling your leasehold property or where you are a looking to buy a leasehold property with the benefit of an application for a lease extension.

Where we can help
  • Advising on entitlement
  • Liaising with your surveyor
  • Preparing your lease extension application
  • Serving the necessary statutory notices
  • Liaising with your freeholder (or freeholder’s solicitors)
  • Dealing with the legal process of obtaining a lease extension
  • If required, making an Application to the Tribunal
  • Representing you at the Tribunal

Why choose Valens Solicitors?

We recognise that all our clients are unique, and that they have varying requirements and objectives. We focus on our clients and if you instruct us, we will be on your side. We will work with you when you have challenges and help you overcome them in an efficient and cost effective manner.

To take advantage of our extensive legal expertise, please get in touch with our lease extension solicitors today on 020 3368 3970 or click below to book a free, no-obligation consultation.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a voluntary and statutory lease extension?

The voluntary process involves all parties agreeing a new lease between themselves. It is an informal approach, but there are risks that legal formalities may not be properly complied with. There may also be hidden costs and delays. Taking advice and assistance from a solicitor or legal professional with expertise and experience in lease extensions can be of considerable benefit.

A statutory lease extension is available to those who have owned a leasehold property for at least two years. This tends to be invoked if the voluntary route is not possible or if fair terms are not being offered. In this case, a solicitor will manage offers between the parties until an agreement is reached.

As lease extension solicitors, we can help you to decide which type of lease extension may best suit your requirements and the circumstances, and take you through the entire process.

Am I eligible for a lease extension?

To qualify for a residential lease extension, you must own a ‘long lease’ (which is a term defined under statute). You are also required to have been the registered owner (at the Land Registry) for at least the past two years, and you should not be a business or commercial tenant.

You will not be eligible if the landlord is a charitable housing trust or if the flat has been provided as part of the charity’s functions. The building in which your flat is located should also not be within a cathedral precinct or be owned by The National Trust.

What is the procedure for a lease extension?

  • The procedure for a lease extension can seem like a complicated one, but we are here to help you navigate your way through it all. To begin with, the premium that should be paid needs to be calculated, which should ideally be done through a qualified valuation surveyor who can also provide advice on counter-offers and other valuation matters.
  • A notice will then need to be prepared and served on the freeholder to set out the proposed terms of the lease extension.
  • The freeholder can accept this and move to completion of the lease extension, or could demand a higher premium and other lease extension terms and go through a period of negotiation.
  • When an agreement is reached, our team of Watford lease extension solicitors and legal staff will draft and negotiate all the relevant paperwork and make an application to the Land Registry to register the new lease.

Please see the lease extension procedure table which outlines the process in some further detail.

How long does a lease extension take?

The time frame of a lease extension varies according to the type of extension that is being applied for. As a guide, voluntary lease extensions can take approximately six to twelve weeks, whereas statutory applications can take between six months and a year. This is only an indication, as there are many different factors that can affect the time scale. As Watford leasehold extension solicitors, we can ensure that the whole process is as efficient as possible.


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The wonderful team at Valens was extremely helpful and walked us through the process every step of the way.

Valens Solicitors’ wealth of knowledge offered me numerous solutions and supported by their clear and concise explanations I was able to make a well-informed decision.

I am grateful for all the advice I received and felt it was all given in my best interests.

Everyone I dealt with at your office was well informed, helpful, professional and a great reflection on Valens Solicitors.

What I like about your firm is the quick and clear communication.

Thanks again for everything you have done. You made the process very easy for me.

Our expert team

Chander Bagga

Principal Solicitor

Cyril Dennemont

Consultant Solicitor

Dee Douglas

Consultant Solicitor

Nese Malik

Licensed Conveyancer

Domenico Sidoli

Consultant Solicitor

Vincent Tong

Consultant Solicitor

Rachele Strata

Trainee Solicitor

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