Who is exempt from lease extension?

The vast majority of residential leases originally granted for at least 21 years, are eligible Who is exempt from lease extension?for lease extension.Under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, lessees have a legal right in extending the lease on their flats for an additional 90 years without ground rent, although they will need to pay the freeholder to take up this right. but certain types of property are exempt from lease extension.

Want to know more about lease extension? Call our specialist solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached.

The right the right to extend your lease – are you or your property exempt?

Certain leaseholders however are completely exempt from the right to a statutory  lease extension, including if:

• the freeholder is part of a charitable housing trust and the flat is provided by the charity as part of charitable work

• the original lease was granted for less than 21 years

• the property is a National Trust building

• the property is owned by the Crown

• the property is within the boundaries of a cathedral precinct

• the flat is owned on a “shared ownership” basis and the leaseholder has not “staircased” up to 100% ownership.

• it is a business lease

• they have been registered as the owner for less than two years

My property is exempt from the right to lease extension. Can I still agree an informal lease extension with the freeholder?

Although in all other cases it is your legal right to apply for an extended lease, these factors not necessarily make you outright exempt.

So yes, it it may still be possible to attempt to arrange a leasehold extension via an informal negotiation with your landlord. However there are risks in going down this voluntary route, rather than the more formal or statutory route.
Click here to read more about private, informal or voluntary lease extensions

For advice to trust from specialist Lease Extension Solicitors, call us today

Instruct our team of specialist specialist  lease extension solicitors who will guide you through this complex process and help eliminate the worry from what can be a stressful situation for both lessees and freeholders.

For FREE initial phone advice, with no strings attached,

  • Give one of our team a call now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544, or
  • Send us an email via the contact form below.

    Bristol Lease Extension Solicitors

    Do you own a leasehold flat in Bristol? If so, you should be thinking about extending your lease. Those who delay lease extensions end up paying a heavy price – so get in touch with our solicitors today to get yours out of the way.

    Bristol is currently home to more than 437,500 people, and it’s growing all the time. As a vibrant cultural hub, Bristol has an increasing rental and leasehold market with more and more people looking to buy a home in the city. In fact, the population has boomed from just 380,615 at the time of the 2001 census, making it one of the fastest growing cities in the UK.

    The growing demand for properties in Bristol has meant that buying a leasehold flat or apartment has become increasingly popular – enabling, in particular, young people and couples to get on the housing ladder when perhaps they simply can’t manage the expense of buying a house.

    Want to know more about lease extension question? Call our specialist solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached.


    Extending your lease increases the value of your flat

    The shorter the remaining length of your lease, the less valuable your property will be should you decide to sell.

    Therefore, the longer your leave your leasehold extension, the more value you lose on the property. By contrast, properties with very long leases will hold far greater value and may even fetch a similar price to a flat with joint freehold. Extending your lease makes your flat easy to sell

    Flats with short leases are often very hard to sell.

    Potential buyers are almost always more likely to buy flats with longer leases. One of the reasons for that is that many lenders simply won’t lend on short leases. So if, for example you let your lease drop as low as 50, you may find that the only buyers able to purchase your property are cash buyers – and they’ll be looking for a real bargain and looking to drive your price down

    Extend your Lease and pay zero ground rent

    If you extend your lease you will only have to pay what is known as “a peppercorn rent”  which is effectively zero. Most leases have clauses allowing for regular increases in ground rent – often every 10 years but sometimes more often. And older leases also tend to have much bigger permitted increases in those regular ground rent reviews. So paying a peppercorn rent can save you a lot of money


    If you instruct one of our lease extension solicitors you will be giving yourself the best chance of securing a fair deal for your lease extension. Many generalist lawyers today are tempted to experiment with lease extension work only to make serious mistakes. By contrast, our solicitors understand the complexities of this area of law and can help you with the following:

    • Managing the lease extension timetable: strict deadlines apply to lease extension work so it is important that your solicitor is able to manage the process and collect all relevant information in time

    • Finding a surveyor: it is crucial that you find a reputable surveyor to value your lease. Our solicitors will be able to put you in touch with experts

    • Dealing with difficult landlords: Many landlords either refuse to co-operate or deliberately impede negotiations. The aim of this is to let your lease run down below the crucial 80 year mark when prices for extension rise dramatically. Should they continue to act obstructively, your solicitor will be able to apply to the First-Tier Property Tribunal

    • Drafting legal documents and typing up loose ends post-completion

    lease extension marriage value


    If you instruct the specialist lease extension team and Bonallack & Bishop you will receive advice from acknowledged experts. And we are members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Solicitors.

    Our three-strong team of leasehold extension experts contains a wealth of experience and would be happy to help you with your property –  and lease extension and freehold purchase is all they do .

    How much does lease extension cost? Click here to find out


    If you’re going to extend your lease, you’ll need to instruct a specialist surveyor who specializes in determining the value of a property for the purpose of extending the lease. And very few surveyors specialise in this area.

    Properly valuing the premium you will need to pay to your freeholder is important because it forms the basis of negotiations between the leaseholder and the freeholder regarding the cost of extending the lease.

    The surveyor considers various factors such as the remaining length of the lease, the condition of the property, local property market trends, and the leaseholder’s right to extend their lease, among others. The surveyor will then provide an estimate of the cost of extending the lease, taking into account any potential increase in value that may result from the extension. This information can be used by both the leaseholder and the freeholder to reach an agreement on the terms of the lease extension.

    With 25 years of experience in extending leases for leaseholders nationwide, we have developed an informal panel of surveyors who really understand lease extension valuation. If you would like an introduction to 1 of them who covers the Bristol area, just let us know. We regularly appoint specialist valuers on behalf of our clients as part of our one-stop shop service.


    Remember that the cost of extending your lease goes up with every month that passes.

    So take action and contact us today to start the lease extension process. We needn’t see you in person and should be able to complete your lease extension by phone, email and Skype.

    • Just call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for a FREE initial phone consultation and a FREE quote for your lease extension, OR
    • Complete the email contact form below

      Bradford Lease Extension Solicitors

      Bradford has a population of over 530,000, according to 2023 statistics, which makes it one of the U.K.’s biggest cities – and it continues to grow. And it has around 30,000 flats, many of which are starting to suffer from short leases. And leaving it too long to extend your lease can lead to massive expense in the long run so it is important to start the process sooner rather than later. If you live in Bradford and you are looking to extend the lease on your flat, the dedicated lease extension team at Bonallack & Bishop can help.

      Got a leasehold extension question? Call our specialist solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached.


      Your lease extension solicitor will need to understand the complexities of lease extension work and be aware of the various deadlines involved. Furthermore, your solicitor will need links with expert surveyors who will value the lease. These things require expertise and as a result it is crucial that your lease extension solicitor is a specialist.

      Whilst the vast majority of landlords are very respectable, you may find yourself locked in negotiations with an unscrupulous landlord. If your lease runs below 80 years it costs far more to extend it and some landlords will attempt to stall negotiations so that the lease runs below this critical period. Lease extensions experts will recognise such scheming and be able to apply to a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal if necessary.


      The word ‘specialist’ is bandied about a lot these days so it can be difficult to work our whether or not a solicitor genuinely specialises in lease extension work. We can take the guesswork out of choosing a lease extension solicitor because we are accredited experts. As well as being members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners we are featured acknowledged as experts on Leasehold Advisory Website.and we are the only solicitors recommended for lease extension by the HomeOwners Alliance – the UK’s leading organisation who champion the interests of the country’s homeowners.Bradford Lease Extension Solicitors. HomeOwners Alliance logo

      What’s more, we have a 5 strong team who only do lease extension, leasehold enfranchisement and right to manage company work – nothing else!


      Were you aware there is legislation giving owners of leasehold flats and houses the right to increase the value of their property by extending their lease?

      Provided it’s a residential flat we are talking about (there’s no automatic right to lease extension for commercial property) with a lease that was originally granted for a minimum of 21 years (most leases start at 99 or 125 years) and you have owned the property for at least 2 years, in general terms you are likely to be entitled to extend the term of your lease by a further 90 years – whether your freeholder likes it or not. and what’s more, if you use this formal statutory route to lease extension, you won’t need to pay any ground rent and future.

      NB as an alternative, it is possible to reach an informal agreement with your freeholder to extend your lease. But that’s not a legal right – and your freeholder can pull out at any time, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But with a cooperative freeholder, and if you want something apart from the standard additional 90 years, a private voluntary or informal lease extension can work – but there are risks.


      We act for clients throughout England and Wales. Our clients need not be able to meet us in office because we can see your lease extension through from start to finish, keeping in contact through Zoom, email or over the phone.

      So if you are considering a lease extension in Bradford, for a free quote, to receive initial advice or to arrange a consultation, simply dial 01722 422300, or email us using the contact form below:

        Manchester Lease Extension Solicitors

        Manchester is the third largest city in England after London and Birmingham, and is home to more than 515,000 people. Although the city had long been neglected, it has boomed in recent years with enormous cultural developments and infrastructure projects including the new MediaCityUK building in Salford, home to the BBC.

        What’s more, Manchester’s has seen an increasing number of privately owned leasehold flats and apartments – either purpose-built, converted from older purposes or bought from the council and social landlords

        And everyone of those flat is going to need a lease extension at some time.

        If you own the leasehold on a flat in Manchester, the chances are that you will need to extend your lease sooner rather than later. Putting off your lease extension will only lead to more expense when you eventually get round to it, so it is important that you act now.

        Thinking about extending your lease? Got a question? Call our specialist solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached.


        The importance of instructing a specialist lease extension solicitor must not be underestimated. Lease extensions are highly specialist areas of property law and the relevant legislation is very complicated.

        Many solicitors may believe that they have enough expertise to take on lease extension work only to find themselves struggling to meet their clients’ needs due to the complexity of the legal work. This is not the case with our accredited lease extension experts.

        There are many deadlines involved in lease extension work and if one of these is missed it can cause enormous problems.

        Furthermore, interacting with difficult landlords requires experience and a detailed knowledge of lease extension law. Sometimes landlords will attempt to stall negotiations so that it will cost the leaseholder far more to complete the residential lease extension process.

        Solicitors must be able to identify these tricks and take the matter to first-tier property Tribunal [previously known as the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal] if necessary.


        If you choose our leasehold extension solicitors you can be sure that you are appointing accredited experts. We are also members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners.

        We have a team of five lease extension experts.  Extending residential leases is all they do – with around 350 lease extensions being completed nationwide out by us each year.

        So with our in-depth knowledge of the legal process,  you can trust us with the complicated drafting of documents and tight deadlines associated with your lease extension.


        A lease extension valuation surveyor is a specialist who you will need to accurately value the premium to be paid to your freeholder. They consider factors such as the condition of the property, existing length of the lease, local market trends, and rights to extend the lease that can all affect the cost of extending it.

        With years of experience in helping people around 10,000 people like you extend their leases or by their freeholds nationwide, we have a panel of surveyors on standby who understand this specialised field to provide reliable valuations for our clients. And we are always happy to introduce you to 1 of them covers valuation in the extended Manchester area as part of our one-stop shop service.


        Our expert Lease Extension team can advise you wherever you live in the UK and we don’t even need to see you – taking your instructions by e-mail, phone and Skype video.

        Don’t risk appointing a solicitor who doesn’t specialise in this complex field.

        For a FREE initial phone consultation and a FREE quote for your lease extension,

        • Simply, call our team now on FREEPHONE 0800 14045440 or,
        • Fill out the contact form below to start receiving advice on the lease extension process.

          Leeds Lease Extension Solicitors

          If you own a flat in Leeds you will need to extend your lease at some point. The sooner you do this, the less expense you will face and our specialist lease extension team can help.

          Thinking about extending your lease? Got a question? Call our specialist solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached.


          Sadly many people who own residential leasehold flats don’t understand their right to lease extension. This isn’t really surprising, as leasehold extensions are a complex area of the law with which many estate agents are not familiar and which many conveyancing solicitors don’t take the time to explain to their clients.

          In basic terms, once you have been the owner of your flat for two years – even if you have never lived there yourself – you have the legal right to compel your freeholder to extend your lease by a period of 90 years, whether they like it or not.( It’s also possible to come to an informal or voluntary lease extension agreement with your freeholder – but that does come with risks).

          As the period on you lease starts to run down, getting it extended becomes increasingly important. As well as facing the prospect of eventually handing the flat back to the freeholder, many property owners find out the hard way that flats with a short lease are difficult to get a mortgage to buy and therefore hard to sell.

          It’s also important to realise that if you want to extend the lease straight away after purchase rather than waiting for two years, the person who is selling the flat to you can start the process of extending the lease before the sale goes through and then pass that on to the buyer once the deal is completed.


          Many property solicitors make the mistake of trying their hand at lease extensions under the assumption that they can’t be that difficult, only to discover that the various complications involved led them to make costly mistakes. Such complexities include:

          • Various deadlines which must not be missed

          • Confusing legislation surrounding residential lease extensions

          • Obstinate landlords

          • Landlords who knowingly hinder negotiations in order to let your lease run below 80 years (therefore costing you far more to extend it)

          • Taking problematic landlords to the First-Tier Property Tribunal

          • The difficulty of choosing an appropriate surveyor to value the lease

          • Dealing with matters after completion


          Our lease extension team is not simply a group of property solicitors who do the odd bit of lease extension work. It is a dedicated 5 strong team of lease extension specialists  –  lease extension and collective enfranchisement is all they do. And over the last 25 years we have helped around 10,000 people nationwide just like you extend their leases or buy the freehold of their block. So you’re in safe hands if you instruct us here at Bonallack & Bishop. We have the experience and know-how you require for your lease extension.

          We are also members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners – the only organisation representing specialist lease extension and and freehold enfranchisement surveyors. So, if you are looking for experts, we can help.


          Our advice is simple – now is a great time to extend your lease. Firstly, as every day goes by, the remaining term of your lease drops. And that increases the cost of which you will have to pay to extend your lease.

          And the situation is made much worse if your property is gradually worth more – because one of the most important factors to look at when calculating the amount of the premium you’ll need to pay to extend your lease, is the actual value of the flat. So therefore, the downside of any increase in value in your flat is that it means you’re going to have to pay more for the privilege of lease extension.


          Lease extensions very rarely require client and solicitor to meet in person so we should be able to conclude matters using telephone, email or Zoom video.

          If you would like to learn any more about how we can help you to extend your lease , email our team using the contact form below, or call 01722 422300.

            Cardiff Lease Extension Solicitors

            Looking for Lawyers who specialise in extending leases?

            Cardiff,Cardiff Lease Extension Solicitors. photo of Cardiff Castle as the capital city of Wales, has grown enormously in recent years – not least in the area surrounding the docks, where my grandad worked as a docker in the 1920s. City-wide development has seen it become a hub of business and industry as well as a burgeoning home to the creative arts.

            The population of Cardiff grew by a massive 54,000 between the 2001 and 2011 censuses — a growth of 18.5%, which in turn has put upward pressure on property prices. And these two factors are the main reasons why Cardiff has an increasing number of purpose-built flats and buildings converted into flats or apartments

            Any flat-owner who allows the term of their lease to dip below 80 years is likely to find themselves facing a high price for their lease extension. That is why it is so important to start the lease extension process sooner rather than later.

            Thinking about extending your lease? Got a question? Call our specialist solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached.


            There are several reasons why you may want to consider extending your lease on your flat or apartment:

            • As the length of the lease decreases, the value of the property decreases. By extending your lease, you can increase the value of the property and make it more attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell in the future.
            • It can be difficult to obtain a mortgage for a property with a short lease. Lenders are often unwilling to lend on properties with less than 70 years remaining on the lease, so extending the lease can make it easier to obtain financing.
            • It can also be difficult to sell a property with a short lease, as it is less attractive to potential buyers. Extending the lease can increase the pool of potential buyers and make it easier to sell the property.
            • If you are living in the property and want to stay, extending the lease ensures that you will have the right to remain in the property for a longer period of time.
            • If the lease is very short it can be very expensive to extend, so it is a good idea to do it before it gets too short.


            People often question the need for a specialist lease extension solicitor in the belief that extending a lease cannot be that complicated. This is a very risky approach. Why?:

            Lease extensions involve complex laws, drafting and tight deadlines

            • Your freeholder is almost certain to instruct a specialist lease extension solicitor of their own

            • Too many unscrupulous freeholders attempt to offer an informal or private lease extension  when a lease term is approaching the critical 80 year point – so that the lease runs below 80 years and costs far more to extend [click here to find out more about “marriage value” and the 80 year]

            • Specialist lease extension solicitors will understand exactly how to help you if your lease extension becomes contentious – and an application to the First Tier property Tribunal [previously known as the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal or LVT) becomes necessary


            Many firms let property lawyers with little or no  experience of lease extension cases to “have a go” at lease extensions – we see this a lot and these dabblers often make a complete mess. We think that’s really dangerous and that their clients’ best interests are not protected.

            Here at solicitors Bonallack and Bishop, we have a growing team of lease extension specialists. They don’t dabble. Lease extension leasehold enfranchisement and right to manage work is all they do. They are real experts.

            We are also members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners, the only organisation of specialist lease extension and enfranchisement solicitors and surveyors.

            Click here for real case studies on how we have helped clients with extending leases.

            Click here to read about what many of our clients and the specialist values we instruct really think about us.

            How we can help

            • Our team provides FREE no obligation initial telephone advice on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544
            • We will provide you with a FREE ESTIMATE of how much it’s likely to cost you to extend your lease – which will include a rough idea of the  premium you’re likely to have to pay, along with both the legal and valuation costs.
            • We offer a one-stop shop – as we regularly work alongside specialist lease extension valuers nationwide, we can help you pick the right one and instruct them on your behalf
            • Our team can handle the lease extension process from start to finish –all the way, if necessary, to the First-Tier Tribunal – Property Chamber (Residential Property))


            You don’t need to come in and see us to instruct us for your lease extension. We have dealt with many thousands of lease extensions over the years and our clients come from all over England and Wales – and almost all of them never actually meet us in person but stay in contact over the phone, using email or Zoom video.

            To save yourself worry and expense, start your lease extension process started today by getting in touch with our team –

            • for FREE initial no strings advice, call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544
            • email us using the contact form below

              Lease Extension Valuations

              My Lease Extension Valuation – do I really need a specialist surveyor?Lease Extension Valuation surveyor.

              Absolutely. If you are thinking about extending the lease on your flat under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended), then you really do need to get in touch with a specialist surveyor who regularly deals with lease extension valuations.

              Why? Valuing a lease extension premium is extremely specialist work requiring a complex calculation which should be undertaken by a suitably qualified and experienced surveyor. Premium valuation work is outside the area of expertise of any solicitor, even one specialising in lease extension.

              And getting the right valuation is critical – because if you don’t, you could end up paying more, sometimes much more, to extend your lease. This is particularly important because it highly likely that your freeholder will appoint their own surveyor to value the lease extension – and if you don’t have your own valuation, you have little to go on except that provided by the freeholder. And that valuation is probably going to be at the top end and likely to mean you end up paying over the odds to extend your lease

              Need the right lease extension valuation? We can introduce you to the right surveyor from our national network of specialists as part of our one-stop shop service.  Call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice.

              How will a specialist lease extension surveyor help me?

              Your valuer will advise you of two things,

              • the first being the likely premium payable for the freehold and
              • a lower figure to include in the Initial Notice to be offered for the freehold.

              That offer figure will be intentionally lower so as to allow scope for negotiation.  It is also critical that the offer figure is reasonable – as otherwise, the freeholder could claim that your Notice is invalid.

              Marriage Value and Lease Extension

              If the lease on your property has less than 80 years left and you want to extend it, then the Leasehold Reform Act of 1993 states that you have to pay an additional cost to the freeholder. This cost is known as the “marriage value” and there is a great deal of confusion around what it means and how it is calculated.
              Click here to read an update about government plans to reform marriage value

              How does Marriage Value work?

              In basic terms, the “marriage value” is a difference in value for both the freeholder and leaseholder of the property with its 80 year lease, and the value of that lease if it is extended for another 90 years. It is called the marriage value as the value of the property plus the extended lease when they are “married” together is more than the value of just the property or the extended lease by itself.

              According to legislation, the freeholder or the landlord is legally entitled to a share of this marriage value. In the past this share was open to negotiation, but is now fixed at 50%. The marriage value itself can vary according to the number of years which are left to run on the lease when the leaseholder decides to make their application. There is an unbreakable connection between the market value of the property and the length of the lease, so if the lease is allow to carry on decreasing, the property’s value will decrease too.

              From a freeholder’s point of view, their 50% share of the marriage value gets larger the longer their leaseholder puts off applying for their lease extension after the 80 years milestone passes. Any delays in starting the ball rolling with a lease extension application can therefore be costly for the person making the application.

              There are a couple of other important things to be aware of when it comes to lease extensions and marriage value.

              • Marriage value only ever applies when you are going through a formal or statutory lease extension process.
              • Also, as soon as the term left on the year drops below 80 years, even by a single day, marriage value comes into play. This is worth bearing in mind if your lease is getting perilously close the 80 year mark as delays could end up costing you thousands.

              Remember that the marriage value for extending a lease which has more than 80 years to run is set at 0%.

              Marriage Value – 3 Golden Rules

              If there are three “golden rules” to take away from the whole topic of marriage value they are:

              1.      Never put off extending your lease. A canny leaseholder will make sure to start the process of extending their lease well before the 80 year mark starting looming on the horizon.

              2.      As soon as marriage value comes into play it will cost a lot more to extend the lease and is financially much better for your freeholder. It is not unheard of for freeholders to drag their feet over the process if the 80 year deadline isn’t too far away in the hope of getting more money.

              3.      If you’re in a property where the lease has already dropped below 80 years, every month you delay extending the lease is costing you money and increasing the marriage value.

              This can be a complex area of property law, so seek the advice of a specialist lease extension solicitor who can guide you through the process, making sure you keep expenses to a minimum and avoid traps.

              Finding the right specialist surveyor for your valuation

              Only a few surveyors have the right specialist experience to value your premium accurately.

              Most surveyors, while they are more than competent at routine valuation work, simply have little idea or practical experience of the specific calculations and factors involved when valuing the premium for a leasehold extension. Choosing a surveyor with plenty of practical experience of leasehold extension premium valuation and negotiation is simply essential.

              Using a professional expert witness at the First-Tier Property Tribunal

              If negotiations between the freeholder and the leaseholder end in stalemate, the leaseholder’s solicitor will then put the case to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. Fortunately, in our experience, around 95% of negotiations are eventually successful, with just a few needing an application to the “First-Tier Tribunal – Property Chamber (Residential Property) for an independent review of the right premium to be paid. (The FTT was previously known as the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal or LVT)

              During the Tribunal the surveyor has the role of acting as an expert witness by preparing and presenting the evidence.

              In Need Of A Specialist Lease Extension Valuation? We Can Help

              Over the last two decades, our specialist lease extension and enfranchisement team have helped thousands of lease owners in extending the remaining term of their lease. As a result, we have built up a network of specialist lease extensions surveyors nationwide.

              These are surveyors with whom we have worked and who we have found to really understand issues surrounding valuation – and to provide clear and accurate written reports. What’s more, we regularly review our informal panel, to make sure we have the right surveyor for your valuation.

              So wherever your flat is in England and Wales, our team can sort out the legal side – and, if you wish, also arrange to appoint, on your behalf, a surveyor who really understands how to properly value your lease extension premium.

              • Just call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for a FREE initial phone consultation and a FREE no obligation quote for extending your lease OR

              • Complete the contact form below

                Extending a lease in Salisbury and Wiltshire

                If you are looking at extending your lease either in Salisbury, or in fact anywhere in Extending a lease in Salisbury & Wiltshire. Specialist solicitorsWiltshire, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Salisbury and Amesbury Solicitors, Bonallack & Bishop, we have a 5 strong team who do nothing but lease extension and freehold purchase work – possibly the most specialist and largest team of its type in the country. And as you can see, this particular website is dedicated to lease extension alone.So you know, when you instruct us, that you’re getting real specialists. And that’s important, because most property solicitors only come across lease extensions from time to time – especially in rural areas like Wiltshire. and we can confidently say that there is no law firm anywhere in Wiltshire that comes anywhere near our specialist expertise in extending leases.

                And over the last 25 years, we have helped something like 10,000 people extend their leases or by the freehold of their block.

                When should I extend my lease?

                Extending the lease on your property is usually best done sooner rather than later. The reason for this is that the cost of extending your lease is based on 2 main factors

                1. the market value of your flat – so at a time when property rights prices are high or worse still, rising, any delay in extending your lease is going to lead to more costs

                2. the remaining length of your lease term – once the lease drops below 85 years you should really consider extending it. In particular because the moment that lease drops below 80 years, the price you’re going to need to pay to extend your lease (known as the premium), goes up – because your freeholder is entitled to charge an additional payment – called marriage value
                Click here to read more about lease extension marriage value

                Why Bother Extending My Lease?

                ·         It’s easier to sell your flat when it has a long lease.

                ·         A lease loses value every day as it gets closer to the end of the lease, whatever the economy is doing.

                ·         The cost of extending the lease is partly based on the value of the flat at the time the leaseholder formally tells their landlord they are seeking an extension. This means the leaseholder is at an advantage if prices then start to increase again.

                ·         You have the legal right to extend your lease in most cases. Your legal right to extend your lease by 90 years is known as the formal statutory method – though it is also possible to negotiate informal or private lease extensions with your freeholder – though this type of voluntary agreement does come with risks.
                Click here to read more about voluntary lease extensions

                ·         Prospective buyers will find it difficult to get a mortgage if the lease on your flat is less than 70 years.

                ·         If your lease has less than 80 years to run, it will get increasingly expensive to extend as it is then liable for something known as Marriage Value, which means you have to share any profit from the increase in value of your flat with your landlord.

                Thinking of extending your lease? For legal advice you can trust, call us now

                Although our specialist leasehold extension team is based in Salisbury not only do we regularly handle cases throughout Wiltshire, but our client base for this particular specialist service is nationwide.

                And Although we always like to meet our clients, when it comes to lease extension work we don’t even need to see you – taking your instructions by e-mail, phone and Zoom video:

                So if you’re thinking of extending your lease;

                • Just call us on Salisbury (01722) 422300 for a FREE initial phone consultation and a FREE quote for your lease extension, OR
                • Complete the email contact form below

                  Voluntary Lease Extension

                  Is a Voluntary Lease Extension – Informal and Outside the Act – the Right Way Forward for Me?

                  It may initially appear cheaper and quicker to negotiate an ‘arm’s length’, informal, ‘non -statutory’ or voluntary lease extension with your landlord outside the “Act” (the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993) – whilst this may seem, on first glance, easier and cheaper, there are very real potential drawbacks and risks.

                  Do you have a question about a voluntary lease extension? Call our expert team on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached.

                  As a leaseholder, in the end, you have to make a practical choice on whether to rely on an informal voluntary lease extension or to choose the formal (statutory) route.

                  Voluntary or statutory lease extension – factors you need to consider

                  Now one of the things you will look at is inevitably overall legal costs. But before you make any final decision, you should always consider the following:

                  1. The timescale for extending your lease

                  Freeholders can withdraw on any informal or voluntary leasehold extension at any time, leaving leaseholders with no other option than to re-start the whole lease extension process on a formal basis using the Act (provided, of course, that they qualify for the right to do so).

                  Timescales can slip and therefore you cannot force the pace when trying to extend your lease on a voluntary basis. Negotiating informally means that you are entirely at the whim of your landlord as to how swiftly the leasehold extension can be wrapped up.

                  And whilst some freeholders are decent and ethical, sadly, some simply are not.

                  2. Valuation Date

                  If a lease’s residual term drops below 80 years, real valuation issues arise. Issuing a formal statutory notice to your landlord of your wish to extend your lease fixes the valuation date at the date the notice was served.

                  If there is no formal statutory notice served on your landlord, there is no “fixing” and the landlord will be entitled to request a greater premium if the lease falls below 80 years during voluntary negotiations [this is because, when leases drop below 80 years, the landlord is entitled to an additional payment – known as the “marriage value”].
                  Click here to read more about marriage value

                  In cases where a lease is approaching the magic 80 year cut off date, it’s unfortunately far from uncommon for landlords to agree to a voluntary leasehold extension only to drag their heels until the lease drops below 80 years – only then to turn their back on any agreed informal price and to then demand the additional “marriage value” premium.

                  3. The terms of your lease extension

                  When negotiating any voluntary leasehold extension outside the Act, there are no real limits on what can be include in the terms of the lease. As a result, negotiating any informal lease extension can be tricky – and can even lead to the abandonment of the whole leasehold extension.

                  When issuing a formal application under the Act, when a statutory notice has the served, negotiations are often quicker and less complex – as the freeholder knows exactly what he has to agree to.

                  Whilst amending or updating the terms of your lease can be useful if you’re a leaseholder, make sure you have specialist legal advice. When it comes to informal valuations, too many people do without a solicitor – relying on their freeholder to play fair.

                  Unfortunately, in the absence of expert legal advice, you’re entirely at the mercy of your freeholder when it comes to amending your lease. What may look like entirely innocent “modernising” clauses could cost you dear in the future.

                  One trick played by many freeholders is to update the ground rent review clause in the lease – in exchange for an apparent concession perhaps with a lower premium or a longer lease extension. But that ground rent review update could be catastrophic – with the freeholder building in significant increases in ground rent which build up over the years, either making your lease very expensive to run or alternatively, making your property effectively impossible to sell.

                  And even if you do agree a fair price for your voluntary lease extension, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop your freeholder changing the terms of any stage – another reason why the statutory route is safer and less dangerous.

                  Don’t ever agree to any change in your lease without making entirely sure you understand what it means for you now and in the future – and the best way of doing so is to get a specialist solicitor on your side.

                  4. The costs of extending your lease on a voluntary basis

                  Increased legal costs can result from lengthy and complicated negotiations. If a leaseholder has to restart with a statutory notice, legal costs for work completed in the unsuccessful voluntary process must be paid as well as the legal costs of a new formal application using the Act. Landlords can be left with unrecoverable legal bills if their solicitor has not acquired undertakings from leaseholders’ solicitors to pay costs.

                  The size of the premium that the freeholder ends up with with may also increase if the leaseholder is tempted to do without specialist independent valuation advice.

                  What’s more, future lease extensions or freehold purchase will be more expensive if ground rents have been maintained or increased. Why? Because the amount of ground rent payable is one of the factors taken into account when coming up with the lease extension premium. So increasing your ground rent also means you’re increasing the cost of any future lease extension.

                  Leaseholders also have the right to challenge the reasonableness of the landlord’s costs if extending under the Act – something that simply not available with any voluntary lease extension.

                  The Act does not dictate that the statutory process must take a long time – it merely delivers timescales enforceable in the court or tribunal. Both parties should consider using a notice to protect them if matters do not proceed smoothly, even where the extension is amicable and could otherwise be done outside the Act.

                  Best to wait for two years ownership before applying for your lease extension?

                  Leaseholders who have not yet owned their lease for two years should consider the value of waiting and proceeding within the protection of the Act rather than being held to ransom, before rushing into a voluntary extension.

                  Voluntary Lease Extensions – are there actually any advantages?

                  Yes, in some circumstances, an informal lease extension may be the best way to go – but that depends entirely on your freeholder – and in particular how reasonable they are and whether they’re willing to cooperate.

                  If you do get a helpful freeholder, here are the advantages of going down the voluntary route;

                  • Speed – you’re not hampered by a statutory timetable – so with swift and cooperative freeholder, the whole thing could be tied up much more quickly
                  • You can vary the length of the lease extension – the statutory route gives you just one option – 90 more years on your lease. In contrast an informal lease extension means you can agree an extension for whatever period you like with your landlord. This often comes in most useful when your lease is approaching the crucial 80 year stage, or when you are thinking of selling up and know that the relatively short length of the lease is going to mean problems getting a good price. You can agree any length of extension you like – as little as 10 years is not unusual. but these sort of short lease extensions are far from perfect. Apart from all the dangers listed above, you will also find that you will probably end up paying more proportionately for a short lease than the full 90 years, and bear in mind you’re still going to have to pay potentially legal and surveying costs for you and your freeholder. So while it may resolve a problem, a short lease extension may well prove quite an expensive solution.
                  • You can vary the terms of your lease – if cash is short but you need to extend your lease, then some landlords agree to a lower premium in return for an increase in ground rent. But beware. Getting the terms in a lease variation wrong could rebound on you – as indicated above, an  increasingly higher ground rent in the future could affect the value of your property or even make it virtually impossible to sell on the open market.

                  What are main differences between the statutory and voluntary lease extension routes?

                  Can I just approach my landlord for a lease extension? Yes you can.

                  The question should perhaps be: ‘why would you want to approach your landlord for an informal lease extension?’

                  The easiest way to answer that and other questions is to compare the advantages and disadvantages of that making an informal lease extension with making an application under the Leasehold Reform Act 1993.

                  Here is a summary of those differences:

                  Questions Informal lease application Application under the Leasehold Reform Act 1993
                  Do I have to have owned the property for 2 or more years before I make the application? No. Yes.  Two years is the minimum period you must have owned (but not necessarily lived in) the property.
                  I am guaranteed a ‘peppercorn rent’ with the extended lease? No – your landlord/freeholder could insist on a higher ground rent. Yes.  You will obtain a peppercorn ground rent for the combined period covering the remaining duration of the original lease and the extended lease.
                  Is any agreement to extend my leases I make with my landlord binding? No.  Your landlord can initially agree to extend the lease and then change his/her mind. Yes – once you have served your initial notice on your landlord they become part of the process and must respond in line with the requirements of the Act.
                  Can I expect the premium for the extension to based on current market rates or a recognised formula and be reasonable? No.  There is nothing to stop your landlord/freeholder from asking for a grossly inflated premium for your extension and demanding payment of suspiciously hefty costs.  He or she will probably be aware that the calculation of the premium doesn’t have to be guided by the relevant schedule of the Leasehold Reform Act 1993. Yes.  Schedule 13, Part II of the Act states specifically that the premium shall be the total of:

                  ·       the diminution in the value of the landlord’s interest in the flat

                  ·       the landlord’s share of the marriage value

                  ·       Compensation for loss arising from the grant of the new lease.

                  Can I challenge my landlord/freeholder about the level of his costs and the leasehold premium if I consider them to be unreasonable? Yes.  However your landlord is under no obligation to reduce the level of his costs and the premium as a result of your challenge. With informal lease applications, negotiations can rapidly sink to the level of ‘take it or leave it’. Yes and under the Act you have the right to formally challenge the reasonableness of your landlord’s offer and then, if agreement still can’t be reached, to take your case to the First-Tier Property Tribunal an for independent decision on the matter.
                  Can I expect my landlord to grant me the extension within a reasonable timescale? No.  Your landlord is not obliged to tie him/herself to any pre-agreed timescale and has the potential freedom, if he is unfortunately grasping and calculating enough, to delay granting you your lease extension until the remaining duration of the original lease has fallen below eighty years and the marriage value can be factored into the premium (it remains at 0% whilst the lease has eighty or more  years to run). Yes.  The Leasehold Reform Act sets out an application timetable binding on both leaseholder and landlord/freeholder.  The clock also stops ticking on the valuation of your property on the date on which your initial notice under the Act is served on your landlord. and with the statutory route, if your freeholder doesn’t cooperate, then your solicitor can apply for what is known as a Vesting Order to force cooperation.


                  Wherever you live in England and Wales, we can help you extend your lease- whether you decide on the informal or statutory route. We can manage the process from start to finish,  keeping in contact with you regularly using email, telephone – or Zoom video if you prefer .

                  Our team have helped around 10,000 people extend their lease or buy the freehold of their block nationwide. We can help you too.

                  • Call our experts now FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for a FREE initial phone consultation and a FREE quote for your lease extension, OR
                  • Get in touch using the contact form below.

                    How to extend the lease on a flat – 6 Mistakes to Avoid

                    Extend the lease on your flat the right wayHow to extend the lease on your flat - 6 Mistakes to Avoid

                    Given that there are approximately 1.5 million long leasehold residential flats in England and Wales, it simply amazing that so many flat owners are simply not aware of their legal right to demand a 90 year lease extension from their freeholder. And bear in mind that every single one of those flats is going to need a lease extension at some stage – unless the owner simply wants to give up all their legal rights and hand the ownership of the flat back to their freeholder. And the vast majority of flat owners won’t find that they are able to leave it until the last minute – because without a lease extension, a short lease flat becomes increasingly difficult to sell.

                    However, if you are one of those flat owners who are aware of your legal rights and are considering extending your lease at some stage in the future, there are a number of mistakes would you really must make sure you avoid.

                    Want to know more about lease extension question? Call our specialist solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached.

                    Marriage value and the 80 year trap

                    Firstly, if at all possible, ensure that you make your original application for a lease extension well before the remaining term of your lease drops below 80 years.

                    Why? It’s really a no-brainer. On the day, yes the day, that your lease drops below 80 years, your freeholder is entitled to charge an additional premium to you – this is known as the marriage value and even on a relatively inexpensive flat, marriage value will mean a few thousand pounds extra to pay. So, ideally, get your lease extension sorted out well before the 80 year period looms – or if not, don’t rely on making an informal agreement with your landlord. Make sure you appoint a specialist solicitor and make a formal statutory application for a lease extension to protect your interests.
                    Click here to read more about Marriage Value – and the government’s latest proposals to abolish it

                    The need for a proper lease extension valuation

                    Secondly, don’t try to cut corners and avoid the costs of a proper valuation carried out by a specialist lease extension surveyor. Relying on your freeholder’s estimate of the value of a lease extension, or on the valuation provided by the landlord’s own surveyor, is likely to cost you.

                    Equally, although they are cheaper, we don’t recommend what are known in the industry as “desktop valuations” – i.e. valuations based just on the paperwork involved without any actual physical viewing of the flat. These are certainly cheaper, and they take less time to organise, but inevitably they are more generalised and won’t take in to account the specific circumstances of your flat. Cutting corners in this way could again add significantly to the price you have to pay when you come to extend your lease.
                    Click here to read more about lease extension valuations

                    The risks of an informal lease extension on your flat

                    Thirdly take particular care. If you’re going down the route of an informal lease extension, i.e. an extension which is negotiated and agreed with your landlord informally without the involvement of the formal statutory process.

                    One of the biggest risks with the informal route is the unscrupulous landlord. Sneaky landlords have been known to apparently agree a price for an informal lease extension only to delay the procedure and then withdraw their consent. In these circumstances, there’s nothing you can do apart from to start the whole statutory lease extension process from scratch. If there’s no urgent need to extend your lease, then this might not prove to be a disaster – but if your lease is approaching that critical 80 year period, then you need to be particularly beware.

                    If a landlord can delay you applying for a formal lease extension until the remaining term drops just one day below 80 years, they can then demand the marriage value. This is far from unknown. Equally, if you’re in the process of selling a property, this can give the unscrupulous landlord, a real advantage – there’s nothing to stop them simply upping the price they require as you get near to exchanging contracts for the sale of your flat – and again there’s nothing you can do apart from to start the whole statutory process from scratch.

                    And perhaps most importantly of all, if you’re looking at a voluntary lease extension, you have no way to compel your freeholder to extend your lease – unlike the statutory route. With the statutory or formal route, if your freeholder is uncooperative, then your solicitor can apply for, or at least threaten to apply for a vesting order from the County Court – which can force your freeholder to grant a lease extension for 90 years whether they like it or not.
                    Click here to read more about Vesting Orders and your lease extension

                    Your lease extension – best planned in advance

                    Fourthly – do make sure that you plan in advance. Don’t leave your lease extension until the last minute or until it becomes particularly urgent. Getting your lease extended well in advance is going to be simpler and probably cheaper.

                    Why an early lease extension will save you money

                    Fifthly – don’t delay. Every day your lease gets shorter, which means that the price you have to pay for your lease extension increases. Add in the fact that currently the housing market is rising and you are left with a further incentive to extend your lease sooner rather than later – because part of the valuation of the premium you need to pay to extend your lease is based on the value of your property. And if that goes up, you are going to have to pay more for your extension.

                    DIY lease extension – don’t go there

                    Finally – don’t try to do it yourself. The procedure involved in lease extension is tricky and timescales are crucial. When you do come to appoint a solicitor, don’t just pick the first property solicitor who comes to mind – make sure you get a specialist in this field, even if it means you can’t pick a local law firm and have to deal with your solicitors, instead, remotely, by email and phone.

                    Most property and conveyancing solicitors only come across lease extensions once in a blue moon – some have never even dealt with one – so you don’t want to rely on them. Instead, do your research and make sure that appoint a solicitor who spends all their time on lease extension and knows both law and procedure backwards.

                    Want To Know How to Extend the Lease on Your Flat?  Contact us today

                    Our expert Lease Extension Solicitors can advise you wherever your flat is situated in England and Wales and we don’t even need to see you – taking your instructions by e-mail, phone and Zoom video:

                    • Just call us on [01722] 422300 for a FREE initial phone consultation and a FREE quote for your lease extension
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