Swabey & Co.



  • I wish to buy a leasehold flat in a converted house, but the lease has only 69 years remaining. What can I do?
    To start a statutory lease extension you must have first held the lease for at least 2 years. However, in your purchase contract you might require the seller to serve the necessary lease extension notice on the landlord and then assign the notice to you.

  • How long does the lease extension process take?
    When you serve notice on your landlord they will have 2 months in which to respond. Once you have their response, which must be by way of a formal counter-notice, you will have 6 months to conclude a final agreement on the terms. If this proves impossible you must apply to the First Tier Tribunal before the end of the 6 month period. Most cases settle within about 6 months of serving notice, but in the case of a difficult Landlord it can take longer to agree terms; only a small minority of cases need to be determined by the tribunal.

  • What are the pros and cons of entering into a voluntary agreement with my Landlord to extend my lease?
    It is a good question and frequently asked. If your landlord offers you terms that are satisfactory you may save the time and energy of negotiating a deal. However, you would be sensible to be wary of agreeing to a higher ground rent which might make your lease less attractive to future buyers. Also, note that your lender will need to agree to the voluntary terms. In this respect, a statutory lease extension has some advantages. In the first place, you will get an additional 90 years and the ground rent will be reduced to a peppercorn (nil). In the second place, the legislation deems acceptance of the new lease terms by your lender. About costs; often it can be less expensive to conclude a quick deal with your landlord, but this is not always the case and cost should not be the main factor in your decision, just one of the items to consider.