Limehouse Basin Marina with flats above it

London Lease Extension

Linz Darlington | April 2024

For leaseholders in London, Homehold offer an end-to-end lease extension service utilising the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. We work on a fixed-fee basis and our service is a one a one-stop-shop, meaning that you do not need to look any further for the valuation, negotiation and legal work associated with a statutory lease extension. We use our own firm of solicitors, Leasehold Legal Services, to complete the legal work.

Once we’ve completed your lease extension, your lease will be 90 years longer than its current unexpired term and your ground rent – if you currently pay it – will be reduced to nothing.

Homehold operate across the Capital. Whether you have flat in a period conversion in the Alphabet Streets in West London, an ex-Local Authority property to the South, a Victorian maisonette in North London or a modern development to the East, we’ll be able to help!

Which Londoners can extend their lease?

The Greater London Authority has estimated that there are approximately 1.2 million flats in the Capital, and the vast majority of them will be held on a leasehold basis.

It is unsurprising that the city has so many flats, because of the high density of housing. Many of the leaseholders will have the right to extend their leases. If your freeholder is one of the London Borough councils, you certainly will.

If you have a shared-ownership property – usually through a Housing Association such as London & Quadrant or Peabody – then you generally only have a right to extend your lease under the legislation if you have staircased to 100%. Equally if you only purchased your flat in the last two years, you won’t be eligible for a lease extension yet.

How much does a lease extension cost?

When you extend your lease you must pay a premium to purchase the extra years and this is driven by three things:

  • The value of your flat
  • How much ground rent you pay, and whether it rises
  • How many years are remaining on your lease at the moment

Most flats which have been leased by the London Borough councils will have been for 125 years from the mid-1980s, so will still be over the 80-year mark and the cost of doing a lease extension will be lower as a result. If you have a private freeholder, then the lease might well be much shorter – some leases in Central London are now very low.

Rightmove have reported that the average price of a flat in London is a substantial £558,454, but this will depend heavily on which area of the city your flat is based. Generally, Westminster and the City of London have the highest average prices.

What’s the process?

Conventionally you would have had to use a separate solicitor and separate surveyor for your lease extension, but Homehold combines these into one specialist service and look after the process from start to finish. We’ll complete your lease extension on a fixed fee, which will be very competitive in contrast to Central London firms based in the City or West End.

Stage 1: Preparation and Valuation

We own a law firm specialising in lease extension – Leasehold Legal Services – which is fully regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. They will start the process by reviewing the documents related to your flat, including your lease and title register. They will do the same for your building. This is done early in the process to make sure that there is no delay as we go through the lease extension process.

The solicitors will then handover to the valuation team – briefing them thoroughly – so they can do a detailed valuation, to estimate what we think the premium for the lease extension will be.

Our team will review the “comparable properties” which will be similar to your own. Ideally, we like to find properties which are in as close as possible proximity to your flat – because London is so densely populated and prices vary so much by borough, sometimes a flat sold just half a mile away will be completely incomparable.

Stage 2: Notice Serving and Negotiation

The solicitors will make an opening offer to your freeholder by serving them with an official document known as a Section 42 Notice.

Your freeholder will have a couple of months to reply to this with their own notice and they usually take their time. Their counter notice will have a counteroffer of what they want to charge.

We will then negotiate with your freeholder’s valuer for a fair price for your lease extension, using the comparable evidence we’ve collected during Stage 1.

Our negotiations are fully included in our fixed fee, which means you never have to worry about our charges increasing if negotiations drag on.

Stage 3: Conveyancing and Completion

In nearly all cases, a fair lease extension price can be agreed between us and your freeholder’s representatives. Once an agreement has been reached, the solicitors kick into action to complete the legal work.

Your freeholder’s solicitor will prepare the necessary documentation to extend your lease and usually it is short document that essentially extends the term and removes your ground rent. Otherwise, the terms of your lease should stay much as they are at the moment.

You also need to pay your freeholder’s fees as part of the process. This will be very dependent on which solicitor and surveyor they chose – if they use West End or City of London representatives it will be more expensive than if their solicitors are based outside of the city.

What's the cost for a Homehold lease extension?

Our fees are fixed We charge £2,400+VAT. This will include all the valuation and negotiation work and the legal work, which will be completed by Leasehold Legal Services, which is a law firm that we own.

The fee is broken into three equal instalments of £800+VAT.

Why use Homehold for your lease extension?

Whichever London Borough you are based in, we’ll be able to help.

“With so many flats located in London and the South East, we have extensive experience in completing lease extensions in the Capital. We have good working relationships with many of the specialist London solicitors firms and good knowledge of the local landlords”
Leah Veasey, Solicitor and Legal Director at LLS

Hear it from another flat owner in London

Homehold and their solicitors LLS did a great job for us. We couldn’t possibly have handled it ourselves, at all, never mind as well. They were great at updating us. Even when nothing was happening, they emailed regularly to let us know what to expect and when. They managed each stage quickly and calmly. Good value for money, too.

Helen G

Start your lease extension in London today

Article author photo

Linz is the CEO and co-founder of Homehold. He’s always looking at how we can improve our service and better support you through the lease extension process. If you have any questions about your lease he’d be delighted to help.

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