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Extending your lease

About extending your lease

All leaseholders who have a lease issued under the Right to Buy legislation have the right to extend the lease for 90 years in addition to the remaining years left. This right is set out in the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 but you must have owned the lease on your leasehold property for at least two years.

If your lease is less than 80 years then it may become more difficult to sell your leasehold property so it is important to apply to extend it. Once your lease has been extended, you no longer have to pay ground rent, although it may be still be in your lease but it is called 'peppercorn' rent - this means you don't have to pay any.

There are certain rules you need to follow and you must pay all the legal fees involved including the landlord's, i.e. Haringey Council's. These can be significant. The costs you will incur include:

  • The premium for the new lease
  • Your own legal and professional costs
  • The landlord's legal and professional costs

These costs will be significant so you should be sure to get estimates from your solicitor and your surveyor before you start.

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Help and advice

Like all landlords, the Council cannot deal with queries or give you advice about your lease extension. It can only respond to your formal notice to extend the lease.

You will need a solicitor to write the formal notice and to agree the terms of the lease extension with the Council. You will also need a surveyor to do carry out a formal valuation of your leasehold property.

The Leasehold Advisory Service is an independent government funded body which provides free legal advice on leasehold matters.

We strongly recommend you use their lease extension calculator to get an idea of how much Haringey Council is likely to charge you for extending the lease before you start the formal process. Bear in mind that this does not include the Council's legal costs which you will have to pay.

It also has a directory of solicitors and surveyors who specialise in leasehold matters.

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Applying for a lease extension

The formal process starts when your solicitor sends a formal written notice to the Council. Note that you are liable for the Council's costs from the date they receive the notice, and that the Council is entitled to ask you to pay a deposit - this may be 10% of the premium proposed in your notice or £250, whichever is greater. It is therefore important that the notice is accurate and it must include a realistic price you propose to pay. This is why you may need to instruct a surveyor to carry out a formal valuation of your leasehold property.

By law, the terms on which the new lease is to be granted are as follows:

  1. to be at a peppercorn rent (this means you don't pay any ground rent) for the whole of the term (the 90 years plus the present unexpired term);
  2. to be on the same terms as the existing lease, subject to minor modifications and certain statutory exclusions and additions
  3. modifications – to take account of any alterations to the flat, or the building, since the grant of the existing lease (e.g. reference to gas lighting or coal stores), or to remedy a defect in the lease.
  4. exclusions – since the 1993 Act provides a right to continued renewal of the lease, any existing clauses relating to renewal, pre-emptions or early termination are to be excluded.
  5. additions – a requirement not to grant a sub-lease of sufficient length so as to confer on the sub-lessee a right to a new lease under the Act.
  6. the landlord’s redevelopment right – the new lease must also contain a clause giving the landlord the right to repossession of the flat for the purposes of redevelopment. This right does not arise until the end of the term of the existing lease and is subject to a court application and the payment of full compensation to the leaseholder for the full value of the remaining 90 years. This will not cause any difficulties in mortgaging the flat.

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Page Last Updated:

6 October 2016