Leasehold extension process
Extending a lease can seem quite daunting – but don’t let that put you off. The process is actually fairly manageable, particularly with a little help.
Decide you want to extend your lease and understand the costs involved
Select a valuer
Get a market valuation of your property and an estimate for the cost of extending your lease - you can expect to be given a low and a high figure
Source your funds
Check that you’ve got the funds available to pay for your lease extension and the related fees – once you’ve started the process it can be expensive to pull out.
Serve notice & make an offer
Use a solicitor to serve a formal notice to your freeholder with an opening offer.
Receive a counter-offer
Receive the freeholder’s counter notice. Your freeholder will usually also send a demand for a deposit of 10% of your initial offer.
Start negotiating both the premium and the freeholder’s fees.
If you can’t agree a price with the freeholder you can make an application to a tribunal to get a price agreed – but this is expensive for both sides so not very common.
Do the paperwork
Your solicitor will receive and review the new draft lease, pay the premium and pay to register the lease at the Land Registry.
How long will it take?
There is a fixed timeline for a statutory lease extension, and you should allow up to a year for it to conclude. The various stages of the process are likely to take the following:
- a month for valuation and notice serving
- a maximum of two months for the freeholder to receive a counter offer
- a maximum of six months to negotiate - although this can be extended if you go to tribunal
- three months to register at the land registry
In a hurry?
Usually the process can be shortened to six months or fewer if you do not negotiate – but this could mean you end up paying a much larger premium.
Want to extend before you sell?
If you’ve got a buyer lined up but they want the lease extended before they purchase, don’t worry – read this guide to selling a short lease flat