Extending the lease

Businessman Looking At Documents Through A Magnifying GlasssYou have the right to a statutory lease extension if:

  • the original length of your lease was more than 21 years (long lease)
  • you have owned the lease for at least two years before the date of your claim the right to extend it
  • the lease is not a business lease

Unlike collective enfranchisement, there is no restriction on the number of flats you may own in the building. You may choose to extend any or all of them provided that the above conditions are met.

Since 2002, the personal representatives of a deceased tenant are able to make a claim for a lease extension if they do so within two years from the date of the grant of probate.

If you have the right to a lease extension, you will need to serve a notice of claim which will include:

  • a description of the flat(s)
  • the terms of the new lease(s)
  • the premium you are offering for the extension(s)
  • the date by which the freeholder must give his counter-notice

Once your notice has been received, the freeholder may:

  • respond with a procedural notice requiring payment of a deposit (equal to 10% of the premium being offered)
  • ask a surveyor to inspect the flat to carry out a valuation

The freeholder must then serve his counter-notice by the specified date to let you know whether or not your claim has been accepted.

Sometimes, the freeholder may be able to reject your claim because they are planning to redevelop the building. If your claim is rejected, you can challenge the rejection through the courts. But you must let the freeholder know about this because it is the freeholder who makes the application.

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