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Your leasehold

Can I extend my lease?

Lease extension can be a costly process so we strongly recommend that you research as much as you can, and seek professional advice at as early a stage as possible.

The lease advisory service recommends that you appoint both a solicitor and valuer.

The following websites provide lots of information and a calculator to help give you an idea of the premium for a lease extension – it is important to note that the premium is not the final cost:

What the law says

The extension of an existing lease is covered under the Leasehold Reform Housing & Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended by subsequent Acts).

The law allows leaseholders to extend their lease by 90 years provided they meet certain criteria.

For example, a leaseholder with 100 years left on their lease will add 90 years to this if the claim for an extension is successful. This means that the leaseholder will now own a lease of 190 years.

To be able to extend your lease you must own a long lease of a flat which is:

  • a lease for a term of more than twenty one years; or
  • a lease granted under the Social Home-buy scheme with 100% ownership; or
  • a lease granted under “Right to Buy” or “Right to acquire under rent to mortgage terms”

In addition, the following criteria must be met:

  • You must have owned the lease of your property for more than two years; and
  • You are not a commercial or business tenant

I meet the criteria – what next?

If you can satisfy the criteria you can apply by following the formal statutory process. This starts with serving an initial notice on the council, known as a Section 42 Notice. The council cannot assist you with this process. Your solicitor will do this for you. Norwich City Council will only extend leases under this act and will not enter into informal negotiations.

I have served a Section 42 Notice - What happens now?

Once we have received your Section 42 Notice – also known as the Tenant’s Notice, we will write to you confirming receipt of the claim. We then pass this onto our legal advisors.
Under legislation we have at least two months to respond. This is called a “Counter Notice” which will either accept your offer or state the price we think you should pay.

We recommend that you instruct a professional to help you draft the notice as any inaccuracies may result in the notice being deemed invalid, and you will be liable for both your own and the councils’ costs.

Valuation of lease

If we agree to your lease extension, we will instruct our valuers’ to contact you, or your advisers. If a price cannot be agreed, the matter may be referred to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal for determination.

Completing the sale

Solicitors must be instructed to complete the legal documentation and register the new lease at the Land Registry.

Prior to completion you must have paid all outstanding services charges and costs relating to your leasehold property.

Fees

You will be responsible for the council’s reasonable costs in respect of:

  1. Undertaking an investigation of your right to a new lease, including our legal fees
    • Our legal fees for a straight forward lease extension with no protracted or complex issues and/or variations, would expect an average fee of approximately £1000
    • This charge is variable and is given here as a guide for the best case scenario. These costs can rise considerably on a case by case basis; therefore we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice prior to serving a Section 42 notice. Any person embarking upon a Lease Extension is responsible for ensuring they have adequate financial sources at outset
  2. Obtaining a valuation
    • Our valuation fees are approximately £270, but as with the legal costs may be higher if more work is required by our surveyor.

Please note that in accordance with legislation, we withhold the right to require the payment of a deposit at any time after receipt of the Tenant’s Notice. This may be 10% of the proposed premium served in the notice or £250, whichever is greater.