Lease Extensions

Practice Area Specialist:

 

Mark Coupe

Mark heads up our Lease Extensions and Enfranchisement team acting for tenants who are extending their leases or grouping together to buy their freehold as well as for landlords.

Mark also acts for GP practices and for dentists who are buying and selling practices. He has a wealth of experience of all aspects of commercial property work and assists both private individuals and companies whether they are buying, selling or leasing commercial property.

The lease of your flat gets shorter every year. As a result of this, a lease is a wasting asset and if you let the length of your lease drop too low, there is a danger that it can seriously reduce the value of your property. If it becomes lower than 80 years, it could become difficult to sell or re-mortgage your flat.

Stillwells are specialist lease extension solicitors, able to guide you through the process using plain English. All of our services are undertaken by a partner, which means the process is often shorter due to our familiarity in this area whilst offering excellent value for money.

Stillwells is proud to be a member of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP), which gives testament to our consistently high level of service, integrity and professionalism. Whether you are a property owner needing assistance with lease extensions, a seller wishing to serve notice on your landlord or a buyer looking to purchase a leasehold property, Stillwells offers a range of bespoke services to help.

We also have significant experience dealing with Residents’ Associations and are able to advise on a number of issues relating to leases. The longer you leave it to extend your lease, the more it could cost you.

Get in touch today by calling 023 8072 7173 for a no obligation consultation.

Frequently asked Questions

How can I extend my lease?
Fortunately the law has provided a solution; all flat owners in England and Wales who satisfy some fairly straightforward conditions are entitled to add a further 90 years to the term of their lease in return for a payment (often called a premium) to their landlord. The law also provides a formula for working out the premium so it is not simply up to the landlord to pluck a figure out of the air! You also have the right to insist that once your lease is extended you won’t have to pay any more ground rent, so no more cheques to the landlord every year. There are two ways to extend your lease. The first is to approach your landlord informally and if you can agree a price you both instruct solicitors to do the job for you. The disadvantages of this ‘informal’ method are that there is no compulsion on your landlord to extend your lease either within a set timetable or indeed at all and there are also no rules governing the premium that you will pay. By far the best way is to take advantage of the rights given to you by law and serve a notice on the landlord notifying them that you are exercising your right to extend your lease. This ‘informal’ method has some real advantages:- 1. Provided that you qualify then your landlord can’t refuse to extend your lease. Put another way, you are not asking your landlord if you can extend your lease, you are telling them that you are going to! 2. The law sets out a strict time table which the landlord must comply with. 3. The price that you pay is worked out using a formula prescribed by law so your landlord can’t just invent a figure. 4. You can insist on 90 years being added to your lease and you won’t have to pay any more ground rent.
Why can't I just leave extending my lease until I sell my property?
This is rarely a good idea. Potential buyers may be put off by a short lease and either, not make an offer in the first place or, pull out as soon as they become aware of the issue. Some buyers might be interested but insist on the lease being extended before they buy which will cause delays and increase your conveyancing fees. If you find a buyer who is happy to buy your short lease they will invariably want to reduce the price, often by more than it would have cost you to extend the lease yourself.
Won't it cost a lot to extend my lease?
Not necessarily, extending your lease could cost less than you think and don’t forget that under your new lease your ground rent will disappear, saving you money every year. For your peace of mind, our charges are fixed so there’ll be no nasty surprises when you get our bill.
For further information an a no obligation consultation, contact Mark Coupe on 02380 727173