Ex-Local authority flats in Southwark

Southwark Lease Extension

Linz Darlington | April 2024

Whether you own a split-level maisonette in Peckham or a period conversion in Borough, you’ve come to the right place to extend your lease.

Taking advantage of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, Homehold offers hassle-free all-in-one service which includes the necessary valuation, negotiation, legal and conveyancing work.

All our work is completed in-house, so we don’t rely on third-party suppliers to deliver our service. Our valuation team will ensure you pay a fair and reasonable price while our legal team will handle all the required legal and conveyancing elements.

At the end of the process your lease will have an additional 90 years on top of its current term, and the ground rent will be removed (if you pay any).

We are experienced in working within all the sub-areas of Southwark such as Bermondsey, Rotherhithe and Walworth. Within the borough we have worked on different types of properties from warehouse conversions to local authority flats who either have Southwark Council as their freeholder or they have a private freeholder. An example was a lease extension on a unique period conversion on Barry Road in Dulwich Village and the freeholder was Southwark Council.

Who can extend their lease in Southwark?

Under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, you are entitled to extend your lease by another 90 years, while simultaneously eliminating the ground rent.

However, there are two significant exceptions to this rule: individuals who own a shared ownership property and those who purchased their flats within the past two years.

How much does a lease extension cost?

The cost of extending depends on three key factors:

  1. The current value of your flat.
  2. The amount of ground rent you currently pay and how it rises over time.
  3. The length remaining on your lease.

Flats where the London Borough of Southwark are the freeholder tend to have reasonable remaining lease lengths: most local authority flats were originally leased for 125 years from the mid-1980s. The ground rents for these flats are usually £10 per year. In comparison to flats with private freeholders – which often have higher ground rents and shorter leases – these local authority flats are less expensive to extend.

To put in contrast, we recently did two lease extensions in similar converted properties in Camberwell. The cost of the flat with a private freeholder and a doubling ground rent was twice that of the near-identical local authority flat.

What’s the process?

Compared to most lease extension solicitors and surveyors, Homehold are different. We look after the whole process from start to finish. This is from our free initial consultation all the way until the new lease has been registered at the Land Registry.

Our in-house valuation team take care of the valuation and negotiation on your behalf, whilst our own firm of specialist solicitors, Leasehold Legal Services, will handle all the legal work. As we go through the process, you’ll be updated weekly throughout the process.

Stage 1: Preparation and Valuation

When we kick off your lease extension, the legal team will do a full review of all the legal documents relating to your flat and the building or development it is in. This is done early to make sure we have everything we need and there are no surprises later down the line.

Once the valuation team have been briefed, they will do a valuation to give you an idea of how much the lease extension will cost. This is done by finding and comparing similar Southwark flats in your development and the wider market.

Stage 2: Notice Serving and Negotiation

As soon as you are happy with the valuation report, the legal team will make an offer to your freeholder or Southwark Council (if they are your freeholder) by serving a notice called a Section 42.

Your freeholder then has a couple of months to come back with their Counter Notice (Section 45) which includes the counteroffer of how much they would like you to pay for your lease extension.

Our valuation team will work hard to negotiate a fair premium with your freeholder’s valuer. The arguments used will be based on the evidence found in the valuation report.

Stage 3: Conveyancing and Completion.

Once we have agreed a fair premium with your freeholder and you are happy to progress, the legal team can start their work to get your lease extension completed.

Your freeholder’s solicitor will produce a document which extends your lease by 90 years, removes the ground rent, and keeps the same terms as your current lease.

This will be carefully reviewed by the legal to ensure there isn’t anything in the new lease that isn’t suitable for you.

Once the solicitors have agreed on the new lease, they will complete the transaction and register it at the Land Registry.

What do Homehold charge?

All of our services including all the valuation, negotiation and legal (including disbursements) are charged at a fixed fee of £2,400+VAT.

This is then broken up into three equal payments of £800+VAT.

Any legal work performed by Leasehold Legal Service is inclusive of our fixed fee - LLS is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Why use Homehold for your lease extension?

At Homehold, we have significant experience in working in Southwark and especially negotiating with Southwark Council – so whether your flat is set in Rotherhithe, Sydenham Hill or near London Bridge, we are ready and happy to help.

Our fixed fee is designed to be transparent (we don't do hidden fees!) and we'll keep you informed along the way – if this how you would like a firm to act on your behalf then book in a call and let us guide you.

Hear it from another flat owner in Southwark

Don’t get a lease extension without their help! The team are friendly, professional and passionate. It has been a joy working with them to secure a lease extension for our flat. Despite a stubborn landlord, it concluded with a great deal which the team tirelessly fought for every step of the way. Highly recommend.

Daniel Avery

Start your lease extension in Southwark 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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