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Lease Extension Expert

Why do I need to extend my Lease?

The need for your lease extension arises because as your lease gets shorter the value of your flat (or maisonette) will go down compared to a similar flat which has a long lease of, say, 100 years or more. This reduction in value is much less pronounced in the early years, but it’s when your lease gets to less than 80 years remaining that the real problems start.

At this point the flat’s value really starts reducing, and it steadily becomes less saleable. This is because the cost of purchasing a lease extension becomes significant and continues to rise, the flat will have less appeal to buyers, and mortgage lenders are increasingly unwilling to lend on flats with short leases.

By extending your lease you reverse this reduction in value and the flat will become marketable once again and will be far more likely to fetch its true market value.

So the longer you put off extending your lease means:-

  • The flat will become relatively less valuable
  • The flat will become more difficult to sell
  • The cost of purchasing a lease extension will continue to increase

What our clients say

“You’ve certainly smoothed the way in an impossibly arcane process”

Gillian, London

Lease Extensions

100 Years unexpired – No issues at this stage with the lease and the saleability of the property.

90 Years unexpired – Still no major issues at this stage with the lease and the saleability of the property.

80 Years unexpired – This is where the real problems start – “Marriage Value” becomes a factor and the market price of the property is affected.

70 Years unexpired – The property now becomes difficult to mortgage as lenders become nervous about the situation. The cost of extending the lease is significant. Potential purchasers are deterred by the length of the lease and seek alternative properties.

60 Years unexpired – The situation is similar to that at 70 years, but somewhat worse. You will probably have lost many £1,000s in the market value of your flat.

50 Years unexpired – You are unlikely to sell the flat with such a short lease and may be limited to cash buyers and property investors only. By now, many more £1,000s have been wiped off the true market value.

Do I need a specialist valuer?

There are two main reasons why you should consider using a specialist valuer for leasehold valuation. Firstly it is almost inevitable that the price offered by your Landlord will be excessive, and secondly the lease extension process is complicated and fraught with difficulties.

Instructing Nick Plotnek Associates will ensure that you pay a fair price and will be guided through the process to a successful conclusion.

When should I consider extending my lease?

There’s no time like the present! With property values currently at a reduced level the time to act is now – this is because the value of your flat has a bearing on how much your lease extension will cost you.

Fortunately, once you’ve formally started the extension process the valuation of your lease extension is ‘fixed’, which means you won’t pay more even though the lease is getting shorter until the matter finally gets settled.

Am I able to extend my Lease?

There are certain requirements that need to be met to be able to claim an extension of lease. We will check your eligibility but the chances are that you will be able to extend your lease as long as you have owned the flat for at least two years. You do not have to have lived in the flat.

How long will I be able to extend my Lease for?

Your lease can be extended by 90 years on top of the remaining term. For example, if you have 70 years left on your lease you will be given a new lease of 160 years.

Will my ground rent go up?

Your ground rent will not go up, and in fact there is the added bonus that you will not have to pay any more ground rent at all, either during the original term or the subsequent 90 years.

How much will I have to pay the Landlord?

The Landlord is entitled to receive compensation for the loss of the ground rent income to be paid under the current lease, together with the loss of the right to receive the value of the flat at the end of the current lease. In simple terms this is the difference in value of the Landlord’s interest today under the present lease, and the value of his interest after the grant of the new lease with the additional 90 years. He is also entitled to receive a share of the marriage value (see Glossary), and compensation for loss arising from the grant of the new lease.

The calculation of this compensation is somewhat complicated and is the reason you need to employ the services of a specialist valuer.

Other than the price I have to pay to the Landlord, are there any costs?

Once you commit to the lease extension process you become responsible for the freeholder’s “reasonable” costs.

These are limited to professional fees such as legal costs and valuer’s fees. You will not have to pay his costs of going to a First-tier Property Tribunal, should the matter not be agreed beforehand.

Do I have to go through the Act to extend my lease?

No, you can always negotiate informally with your Landlord to extend your lease, either on the same terms as under the Act or on different terms. However if you cannot agree on terms you cannot go to the First-tier Property Tribunal if you haven’t applied to extend your lease under the Act.

Can I get any financial help with paying for my lease extension

If you currently have a mortgage, your lender will usually be happy to help you out if you have sufficient equity as it increases the value of their security. Other options can be considered, and we will be happy to discuss these with you.

My Landlord wants an ‘administration fee’ for pricing my lease extension. Should I pay this?

You are better off getting your own valuation first as a price given to you informally by a Landlord (that is, without going through the formal procedure under the Act) is quite likely to be unfavourable. If you pay the Landlord’s fee first and later challenge the price, that fee will be lost and you will still be obliged to pay the Landlord’s fees under the Act.

My Landlord seems to be stalling when discussing my lease extension. Why is this?

It’s in your Landlord’s interest to stall matters as the price of your extension continues to rise the shorter your lease gets. This is especially common when the unexpired term of your lease approaches 80 years, as once it’s dropped below this the price will rise significantly.

I can’t get hold of my Landlord. Can I still get a lease extension?

Even if your Landlord has disappeared without trace you can still get a lease extension as the County Court has the power to dispense with the need to formally serve a Notice on your Landlord.

How long will the process take?

This really depends on how difficult your Landlord is to deal with, but from experience we would allow somewhere between six and twelve months.

How do I start the process?

By visiting our web site you have taken the first, most important step.

Get in touch with us and we will give you a clear breakdown of what’s involved, together with our fees and how they are calculated.

Once you’ve instructed us to go ahead we will carry out a valuation of your Lease extension in accordance with the legislation. You will be provided with a likely range of values (best and worst case scenarios, or the ‘valuation range’) so you can decide whether or not you want to go ahead. This can be done either as a desktop valuation or as a full inspection and report, depending on your requirements.

If you decide to proceed with the Lease extension we will put in hand the legal formalities and start the negotiation process.

If necessary we will represent you at the First-tier Property Tribunal in the unlikely event that we fail to reach agreement with your landlord.

Please contact us for further information or Call us now on 0121 427 2800