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Lease Extension Solicitors

Extending your lease could significantly raise the value of your home and help you sell or remortgage. For help negotiating the best possible price with your landlord, turn to our expert lease extension solicitors.

At Whiskers Solicitors, we provide specialist residential property advice to individuals across Harlow and Epping in Essex and Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.

The main reason to consider extending your lease is a simple one – as the years go by your lease gets shorter and therefore less valuable. Once your lease falls below 75-80 years, you could find it difficult to sell or remortgage. There are also other benefits to lease extension, for example, if you use the statutory route your ground rent will automatically fall to zero.

We can talk you through the process and handle every stage on your behalf. To speak with one of our leasehold extension solicitors in Harlow, Epping and Bishop’s Stortford, get in touch with:

How our lease extension solicitors can help you

We have handled hundreds of lease extensions for clients, helping them agree fair prices and favourable terms with their landlords. We can provide advice on matters such as:

  • Whether extending your lease is the best option for you or whether you have other options, such as the opportunity to buy the freehold to your property.
  • Your eligibility to extend your lease.
  • Using the “formal” or “informal” method of lease extension – there are pros and cons to using both, for example, your landlord cannot refuse under the formal method.
  • Serving notice on your landlord.
  • Negotiating the best possible price for extending your lease and agreeing new terms which are beneficial to you.
  • Applying to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for a fair, independent decision on the price if you and your landlord cannot agree (this remedy is only available if you use the formal statutory method).

We will also liaise closely with your valuer, whom you will need to instruct separately to assess the value of the lease, and your mortgage lender (if you need to finance the extension).

We will complete all relevant notices and documentation with meticulous attention to detail.

How else can our leasehold solicitors help you?

Our residential property services also include other leasehold services, including:

  • Freehold purchase where you own a leasehold house
  • Collective enfranchisement – the process of coming together with the other flat owners in your shared building to buy the freehold
  • The right to manage – flat owners’ right to take over management of the shared spaces of their building
  • The right of first refusal – flat owners’ right to be given the first opportunity to buy the building when their freeholder wants to sell

What does leasehold mean?

If you own a flat, it is almost certainly a leasehold. This means you own a long lease of a certain amount of years to occupy the property and you will likely pay ground rent and service charges to the freeholder (or “landlord”) who owns the land your property sits on.

Houses can also be leasehold; however, they are rarer and the sale of new long leases on houses is likely to be banned this year.

Why consider extending your lease?

You should always consider whether extending your lease is right for you. Some of the many advantages include:

  • The value of your property could go up.
  • If you use the formal statutory method, your ground rent will automatically be reduced to a zero financial value. If you use the informal method, you have the opportunity to negotiate your ground rent with your landlord.
  • Your ownership will be extended, making it more secure (if a lease reaches 0 years, it reverts back to the freeholder).
  • You will find it easier to sell or get a remortgage because lenders will see a longer lease as better security.
  • You have the opportunity to negotiate better terms than your current lease.

If you own a leasehold house, it is usually a better idea to buy the freehold of your home rather than extend the lease. We can provide further advice about this.

The lease extension process

There are two methods of extending your lease:

  • The formal method – this is the statutory method which gives you the right to extend your lease after you own it for two years if you are a qualifying tenant. It involves following a set process and serving formal notice on your landlord.
  • The informal method – you can start negotiations with your landlord at any time without serving formal notice. However, your landlord can refuse to accept your offer.

Typically, the formal method is safer to use for reasons such as:

  • Your landlord cannot refuse to extend the lease for a fair price.
  • If you and your landlord cannot agree a price, you can go to the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) for a decision.
  • You have the right to add 90 years to your existing term if you own a flat. For a house, you have the right to add 50 years. You have no such right under the informal method (although if you are able to negotiate it, you are not limited to 90 or 50 years).
  • Your ground rent will be reduced to nothing. There is no obligation to do this under the informal method. In fact, there is a danger that your landlord could try to impose higher ground rents instead.
  • There are time limits which the landlord must stick to, making it easier to resolve your matter efficiently.

We can talk you through the advantages and disadvantages of both methods and help you decide which one is right for your individual circumstances.

Why choose our lease extension solicitors?

We are a firm of capable, expert solicitors based in Harlow and Epping, Essex and Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire. Our team includes dedicated conveyancing lawyers who have the ability to handle your lease extension matter skilfully, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Here are just some of the reasons our clients choose us:

  • Professional expertise – we are members of the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme Accreditation for our high quality advice and excellent customer service.
  • Proactive approach – we won’t let your lease extension negotiations draw out for a second longer than they need to. We will take a dynamic approach to your matter, responding proactively to all correspondence and chasing all relevant parties to progress the matter as swiftly as possible.
  • Flexible fee options – we are able to offer fixed fees to the majority of our conveyancing clients, so you can stay fully in control of your legal spend. Get in touch for a quote today.
  • Warm, inclusive environment – we aim to create an open, accessible and comfortable environment to every individual seeking our legal services. So, if you have any disabilities or individual accessibility requirements, please get in touch for a confidential discussion about how we can accommodate your needs.

Get in touch with our lease extension solicitors in Harlow, Epping and Bishop’s Stortford

To speak with one of our lease extension solicitors in Harlow, Epping and Bishop’s Stortford or to request a quote, email quotes@whiskers.co.uk or get in touch with: