Lease Extension Solicitors
Streathers has a very active and well known property law team and one of our specialisms is advising clients on extending leases.
The law recognises that the decreasing term of a lease makes it difficult for leaseholders to sell their properties. Many mortgage lenders are now insisting that such leases are extended before they will agree to lend mortgage monies to fund a purchase of a flat with a short lease.
Residential long leaseholders have a statutory right, in certain circumstances, to obtain a new lease for a price. This is known as a lease extension.
Key aspects of statutory lease extensions
- If you qualify, you have the right to extend your lease by adding a further 90 years to the existing lease term and reducing the ground rent to zero;
- In order to qualify for this right, you must be the registered owner (save for certain exemptions) of the property at the Land Registry for a minimum of 2 years and the original term of the existing lease must have been granted for more than 21 years;
- Some flat owners are unaware of the need to extend and only become aware when marketing their flat for sale. As a flat owner must have been registered as the legal proprietor at the Land Registry for 2 years before being eligible to use the statutory lease extension process, it is possible for the current owner of a property to start the statutory process by serving the necessary notice between exchange of contracts and completion and then to legally transfer (assign) the benefit of the notice to a new owner.
- Extend your lease before the term drops below 80 years. Otherwise, the landlord is entitled to extra compensation (known as marriage value) to grant an extended lease making it more expensive for a flat owner;
- You will need to appoint a surveyor who specialises in lease extensions, as well as your solicitor;
How long does it take to extend a lease?
The timescale involved from start to finish invariably depends upon the parties and their willingness to accept a fair and reasonable price. It can take a minimum of 6 months even if the parties are keen to reach a reasonable agreement.
Lease extension legal fees
We provide experienced lease extension advice. Our fees are tailored to recognise the different options and likely outcomes. In the majority of cases, the landlord and leaseholder reach agreement and complete the lease extension.. If the matter becomes protracted and terms cannot be agreed without recourse to the Tribunal, we ensure that you are fully aware of your legal costs at every stage.
If you need solicitors in London who provide expert, competitively priced lease extension advice and services, we are an excellent choice. Please do get in contact.