Ask The Expert with Trudy Quinn: How can I extend my lease?

Ask The Expert with Trudy Quinn: How can I extend my lease?
03 October 2018

Fresh off attending the London Home Show & Croydon Property Home Show, it was a delight to meet so many of you at both shows. We thought we would answer a number of questions we received from many people we met over both weekends. Here is our very own Head of Marketing & Sales, Trudy Quinn here to answer the following question 'How Can I Extend my Lease?'. 

Most shared ownership leases are issued for 99 or 125 years and the remaining term diminishes over the years. Generally, a lease is not considered ‘short’ unless it has less than 80 years left.

As a shared owner you don’t have the statutory right to have a lease extension granted (until your share is 100%), however most housing associations recognise the benefits of lease extensions for their leaseholders and offer an informal process where appropriate. This route may be quicker and less costly in terms of legal fees.

Firstly, you should contact your landlord and request information and any forms you need to complete to start the process. Costs will vary, but you will be expected to pay for the valuation of your property up front, which will determine the value of the lease extension. Your landlord should let you know of any initial costs involved. You will also incur solicitor’s fees and possibly lenders fees if you are extending your mortgage to cover the cost of lease extension.

In the case of Shared Ownership Leases, the amount of the premium payable to extend a lease will often mean that the better option for a leaseholder in these circumstances will be to buy a further share in the property or staircase out if possible, rather than extending the lease. In the event that extending the lease is chosen as the preferred option, rent under that Shared Ownership lease will continue to be payable for the share not purchased. Following final staircasing for a flat the issues of leases becoming short will of course remain.

You must seek legal advice before proceeding to ensure the best route forward.

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