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Extending Leases

Extending the Term of a Lease

We at Crosse + Crosse help clients all over the country for “enfranchisement” work.  This includes where owner of a lease (referred to in the legislation as the “Tenant”) extends its term. 

It is quite common for a lease term of just 99 years to have been granted. As a lease goes on, its remaining term gets less and less.  If there is less than 70 years left, it becomes very difficult for prospective buyers to get a mortgage and this in turn makes leased properties more difficult to sell.  

Sometimes the Tenant can agree an extension with the person who owns the freehold (in the legislation, known as “Landlord”.  However, often the deal is better if the Tenant exercises the right to an extended lease given by the Leasehold Reform, Housing & Urban Development Act 1993, especially if the freehold is owned by one of the big concerns who own thousands of freeholds as their business.

Tim Selley, Partner, is one of only a few local Solicitors who handle such cases.  Tim is a member of the Association of Lease Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP).

Tim says “Of course it’s not nice to have to pay out money for a lease extension but, for a Tenant, it is something that has to be considered seriously.  In addition to difficulties with borrowing, there is a big jump with the cost when the remaining lease period goes below 80 years so, if that date is looming, prompt action is important.  This is especially now the case due to a court decision last year which might increase the sum for the Tenant to pay due to some earlier accepted methods of calculating the payment to the Landlord being held to be wrong.

From my experience, many Tenants do not know about these issues and, often, they only become aware when trying to sell the flat at which point it can become a rush.  This may mean having to pay more in order not to lose a buyer.  It’s therefore often far better to sort out the difficulty before there is an imminent sale. 

Taking proper advice is also important as some Landlords do try to gain a benefit from the Tenant’s lack of knowledge.  Only the other day I saw a letter where the Landlord has suggested to the Tenant that no lease extension was available which was not the case as the Tenant clearly had the right to it under the Act!  I also often come across cases where it is clear that a Tenant has not taken proper advice and accepted an offer from a Landlord on terms which are worse than had the Tenant used the statutory route.”

If you would like to consider your own position, do feel free to contact Tim either by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or by phone 01392 678694.  Tim will be happy to consider your matter and give you information on likely costs.  There can sometime be a discount if more than one Tenant in the building seeks a lease extension at the same time.

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