Lease Extension Solicitors in London and Peterborough
If you’re looking for an experienced lease extension solicitor, you’ve come to the right place. At The Law House, our team of skilled experts can help you every step of the way, from negotiating with the freeholder or landlord to drawing up the correct legal documents, helping you to successfully extend the lease on your property.
What is a lease extension?
Most people who own a flat own a leasehold property. This is particularly common in London and other cities where houses are increasingly being converted into flats. Having a lease gives you the right to occupy the flat for a set period of time.
Many flat owners choose to extend the lease because as it gets shorter, its value lessens and it becomes more expensive to increase it. Extending the lease on your flat can add to the value of your property, sometimes by thousands. Generally speaking, the shorter the lease is, the lower the market value will be.
Another reason to extend is that mortgage providers often do not want to lend money on properties with short term leases, making it difficult if you decide to sell. You may find that people are reluctant to purchase a property that has a lease of fewer than 60 to 70 years and they may insist that it is extended before buying.
How can I extend the lease?
One way to extend the lease on your flat is the formal, legal route. Under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, almost all leaseholders have the right to extend the lease on a flat. However, to be eligible you must have owned the flat for two years or more and have a long lease (e.g 21 years or more). The Act means you can extend your lease for an additional 90 years from what is left on your existing lease at a very low rent.
The second way to extend is by contacting the freeholder or landlord directly and coming to an informal agreement. While this may be quicker and more cost effective, these negotiations can be tricky and can give rise to problems. For example, the landlord may take a long time to respond and as there are no rules they can set whatever terms they like, such as increasing the ground rent. This is why it’s often best to opt for the legal route and seek help from an experienced solicitor who can handle these complex matters for you.
What steps should I take?
Your first port of call should be to find a solicitor who specialises in leasehold legislation. You also need to get a valuation figure for the cost of the extension. A professional surveyor will be able to visit your property and give you a good indication of what you should pay.
Your solicitor will then either approach the landlord informally or serve a Section 42 Notice informing them that you are applying for an extension. The landlord will either accept the offer or make a counter offer, which your solicitor can negotiate. If this is not successful, you can go to a First-Tier Tribunal to have the matter settled. However, in most cases this is not necessary.
In addition to the cost of the lease extension, you should also consider your legal fees, the landlord’s or freeholder’s costs and the valuation fees.
How we can help
Extending the lease on a property can be a complicated process, which is why it’s important that you seek advice from a legal professional. If you’re looking for a lease extension in London or anywhere else in the UK, we’re here to help. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us today.