A lease extension survey will give you an estimate of how much you should pay for your lease extension and provide your surveyor with the evidence they need to negotiate the cost effectively.
At Homehold our lease extension surveys are based on the latest market evidence and case law to ensure they are as accurate as possible.
Our lease extension survey forms part of our end-to-end statutory lease extension service.
For more information on our surveys, please keep reading!
What does a lease extension survey involve?
1) Profile your flat:
We start by completing a profile of your property, to understand how it compares with other flats in your block and local area.
We will look at everything from the size and layout of your property to its access to outdoor space or parking.
Where your flat is objectively less or more valuable than comparable flats, we’ll note this down so this can be reflected in the valuation. For example, we recently completed a lease extension where flats on the north side of the road backed on to a railway line. Flats on the south side did not and sold better as a result.
2) Find Comparable Properties:
When we’ve got a good grasp of your property, we search for the most relevant transactions of properties that have recently sold (or are under offer) which we can use to evidence the value of your flat.
Once we’ve chosen our comparables, we buy data from Land Registry to validate attributes like the sales price and the length of the length of the lease on sale – to ensure we’ve got confidence that the evidence can’t be undermined during negotiations.
Where your lease is below 80 years we’ll also be looking to see if there are sales of comparable flats which sold with leases with similar lengths to your own, as this can affect your lease extension premium.
3) Apply Adjustments:
The perfect comparable property is the identical flat next door to your own, that sold last week. Clearly, we rarely have perfect comparable properties, so adjustments need to be made.
For example, we usually adjust properties using the Land Registry House Price Index for your area to consider fluctuations in the housing market.
The legislation for lease extensions directs us to value your property as though it was in a maintained condition. If a comparable flat has sold in a refurbished state, we’ll take that into account too.
4) Write Conclusion:
Once we’ve made our adjustments, we’ll comment on the figure that we think your flat is worth and the highest figure we think your freeholder can reasonably evidence.
5) Produce Calculation:
The final part of the lease extension survey is to produce the calculation which takes all the inputs collected in our research stage and boils them down into the premium we think you should pay for your lease extension.
Why do you need a surveyor to do a lease extension survey?
Technically it is possible to do a lease extension without a specialist surveyor – you could work out a rough figure using our lease extension calculator, propose this to your freeholder and negotiate yourself.
However, most freeholders will come back with a much higher figure and the leaseholder needs to negotiate this figure down to a point that it is fair.
Is this a negotiation you want do yourself?
Choosing a lease extension surveyor who has experience in negotiating with other valuers is likely to ensure that you get the best price on your lease extension. It is also important that your lease extension surveyor keeps up to date with the latest developments in leasehold case law.
In addition, you do need to make sure that the figure you propose to your freeholder is reasonable, because if it isn’t they can argue that the section 42 notice you served to start your lease extension is invalid – there was a recent case where the singer Rick Astley did this.
Do I need an on-site survey?
The short answer is "No".
Unlike a valuation for the purposes of selling or mortgaging, a survey for a lease extension will always disregard the condition of your flat. They assume it’s in a basic, maintained condition.
There is usually sufficient information about your flat (and similar flats that have sold recently) to complete the valuation on a desktop basis.
Avoiding a site survey means your valuer can dedicate more time to collecting and analysing the mass of information available. We source information from the Land Registry, property portals, estate agents and auction sites for our valuations.
An exception is in the case of unique flats (we once valued a flat in a converted chapel!) where there are no directly comparable properties. It is in these cases that it is sometimes necessary to inspect the property in person.
Our surveying service
At Homehold, our lease extension surveyors provide accurate estimates of your lease extension premium with detailed evidence to allow us to negotiate the best price. Our work includes:
- reviewing your property title to check you’re eligible for a lease extension – if we find you’re not we’ll refund your money in full before doing a valuation
- reviewing the information available to ensure we can do a valuation remotely and if we can’t, conducting an on-site survey at no extra cost
- providing an estimate of the fair range for your lease extension and a detailed report of how we arrived at the figures and our negotiating position
- providing an estimate of what the freeholder is likely to request to cover their own surveying and legal fees, which you have to pay.
Once we’ve provided the report, if you have any questions or want to delve into the detail, we’re always happy to have a call or answer questions via email.
When should I complete the survey?
It's important to do the lease extension survey at the point at which you're ready to get started with your lease extension
This is to make sure that the survey is as current as possible while we are negotiating
Your lease extension will get more expensive as your lease extension gets shorter - but it get exponentially more expensive as soon as your lease drops below 80-years, as shown below.
What comes after the survey in the lease extension process?
The survey is the first stage of three stages in the process of extending your lease.
Stage two is the process of negotiating an agreement on the price of your lease extension, which in the case of a statutory lease extension is always started by sending a formal "Section 42" notice to your freeholder.
Stage three is to update the legal aspects of your lease to reflect your extended term and reduced ground rent. This needs to be carried out by a licensed conveyancer or solicitor. See our leasehold extension solicitors page for more information
How much does a lease extension survey cost?
We complete our lease extension survey as part of Stage 1 of the process, which costs £775+VAT.
For a fixed-fee of £2,325+VAT we will look after your lease extension from start to finish. Our mission is to make the process as inexpensive, as smooth and stress-free as possible for you, so we manage every step. You’ll deal with a single point of contact here at Homehold who will look after your case on your behalf.
Here from one of our existing customers...
Homehold used sound analysis to provide the basis for obtaining the right premium for our lease extension.
Excellent communications with the team, we have no hesitation in recommending them.