Your rights, and what you get
Under the Leasehold Reform, Housing & Urban Development Act 1993, tenants (i.e. leaseholders) have the right to force the freeholder to grant them a lease extension of 90 years on top of the unexpired term at a peppercorn (i.e. nil) ground rent.
You will need to make a one-off payment to the Landlord (known as a premium) for him to grant your new lease.
How do I qualify?
Providing that you fulfil the criteria within the legislation; the key criteria being a minimum of two years ownership, you can exercise this right at any time. There is no requirement that you live in the flat, so if you rent the flat out then the rights contained in the 1993 Act still apply to you.
Personal Representatives may also be able to extend the lease of a flat within the deceased estate, but there may be other factors to consider.
Why should I extend my lease?
Your lease is a diminishing asset, the shorter it becomes the less valuable it becomes and so, if you allow your lease to become too short then you may experience difficulties when you come to sell or mortgage the flat. Property historically has a tendency to rise in value and so the shorter your lease, the more it is likely to cost you to extend it. Our advice would always be to start the extension process before your lease drops below 80 years. If you have missed this deadline it is important to act sooner rather than later.
What location/areas do we cover?
The majority of our work covers the south coast but we also carry out work for leaseholders and freeholders across the country. We deal with small flats up to blocks containing 30+ flats.
Who do we act for?
At Biscoes we are able to act for either the leaseholder or the freeholder; but not both parties in the same transaction (unless you have previously bought your freehold with the other leaseholders. If this is the case then see below).
If you are a freeholder and you have been served with a s42 Notice then you need to act quickly as the consequences of not doing so can be catastrophic for you. We are able to help and guide freeholders through the lease extension process.
If you are a leaseholder who owns a share in the freehold and you are looking to extend your lease then please see our section entitled ‘Lease Extensions to Shareholders’.
Why choose us?
At Biscoes we specialise in lease extensions and our friendly solicitors are able to guide you through this process. Gillian has a wealth of experience in this area. We are listed in the directory of LEASE. We can deal with your matter should you need to make an application to the County Court of the First-tier Tribunal.
If you are a leaseholder, or a member of a residents association, or a freeholder and wish to discuss your lease extension then please do not hesitate to contact Gillian Cowling on 02392 660261 to discuss your situation and requirements.