Lease extension disputes - contentious renewal

Our solicitors understand that owning a leasehold property can bring its own particular difficulties. Costs which might not be apparent at the time of purchase along with procedures and processes that are difficult to understand are typical complaints.

If you own your property under a long lease (a lease over 21 years) then there will come a time when that lease will need to be extended or you could face the possibility of losing your home. Your home is your biggest asset and it is imperative that action is taken early to ensure that an extension can be obtained for as little cost as possible.

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Lease extension procedure

The procedure is governed by the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (the Act). Under the Act a 'qualifying tenant' is entitled to extend their lease if certain criteria are met. A qualifying tenant is one which:

  • Owns a long lease (more than 21 years), and;
  • Has been the proprietor for more than 2 years, and;
  • Pays a nominal ground rent.

A qualifying tenant is entitled to extend their lease by 90 years on top of their existing term and reduce ground rent to nil.

You must bear in mind that you will be purchasing your lease extension from the landlord. You will therefore pay a 'premium'. It is crucial that you have the funds in place to proceed. The cost of the premium is governed by legislation. Please consider using a lease extension premium calculator for an indication of the likely cost of your premium.

As well as the cost of the premium you are required to pay your landlord's reasonable legal fees.

At Stephensons we are acutely aware that clients want certainty over their legal fees. This is particularly relevant in a procedure where there is a statutory obligation on a leaseholder to pay a landlord’s reasonable legal costs. The procedure must be followed swiftly and precisely to ensure that the best possible result is achieved at the lowest cost.

Through focusing on the procedure and utilising our excellent case management tools our solicitors are able to offer a fixed price service that can be structured over each stage of the process as follows:

Stage 1 - £495 plus VAT

Once we are instructed we will act quickly to determine whether you qualify for a lease extension and to ensure that the necessary evidence is available. Once confirmed a notice will be served on your landlord.

Stage 2 - £1,195 plus VAT

The response of the landlord will determine how you need to proceed. If an agreement can be reached then you proceed straight to stage 3.

If an agreement with your landlord can't be reached it will usually be necessary to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

Our focus is on making this application as quickly as we can. The longer discussions go on with a landlord the higher their costs will be and remember - if those costs are reasonable then you will have to pay them.

This fixed price includes making a written application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. It does not include representation at a hearing before the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. Should further correspondence or representation at a hearing become necessary we will be able to provide an estimate on a case by case basis.

Stage 3 - £550 plus VAT

Once an agreement is reached our specialist team will deal with the drafting and registration of the lease extension. 

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As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.