Extending the Lease on a House

Very few leaseholders extend the lease on their house. The reason is, if they qualify for a lease extension, they also qualify to buy the freehold, which has more advantages. With the freehold, you pay no more ground rent, you take charge of repairs and your home will become more valuable and easier to sell.

However, extending the lease is usually cheaper.

As with the extension of a lease on a flat, there is a legal framework that covers houses, but there are differences. The information here refers to a lease extension performed under the terms of the Act. You are under no obligation to follow this route and can approach the landlord with an informal offer, but the law is there to provide an environment that will produce a fair and timely outcome. Please see Pros and Cons on the choice between the formal and informal routes that relate to extending the lease on a flat, as many of the points are relevant.

With a house, you can extend your lease by an additional 50 years on top of the remaining lease length.

Note: If you do extend, it does not preclude you from buying the freehold in the future.

Qualifying

You have to have owned (but not necessarily lived in) the house for at least two years.

The original lease must be longer than 21 years. It does not matter how long is left, as long as it has not expired.

Also, do check that the lease has not already been extended. If it has, it cannot be extended again.

Extending

You will be responsible for your own and the landlord’s legal and surveying costs.

Unlike the extension of a lease on a flat, you will not have to pay a premium to the landlord for the lease extension.

However, there will be a substantial increase in the ground rent.

The landlord can refuse to grant the extension if he intends to demolish, rebuild or wants his own family to live in the house. In these cases, compensation is payable to the leaseholder.

We have provided the above information as a general guide.  We are not solicitors, any quotations of statutory law are not intended to be legal representations, you must always seek clarification from a firm of solicitors who are specialists in this area of enfranchisement law.

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