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Extend My Lease

If you live in a leasehold property such as an apartment, then you will usually have a certain amount of years remaining on your lease. When the lease expires, the property essentially reverts back to being the property of the freeholder. Depending on how many years are left can often cause problems when it comes to selling your property with a short lease de-valuing your home significantly. It can be difficult to extend a lease but it is possible, and by coming to an agreement to extend the period of lease you can avoid any future problems regarding ownership. If you are successful in gaining an extension on your leasehold property, you will usually be granted an extra 90 years to the length of the lease.

Applying to extend your lease is not as straight forward as you would think and can cost thousands of pounds. So it is a good idea to consider whether or not it is worth going through the costly and lengthy process to extend it. Generally if the property has less than 90 years remaining then it is a good idea to consider getting it extended as it can put off potential buyers in the future and cause problems if you are looking for a quick property sale, and shorter leases are also considered less valuable. It can also be difficult to secure a mortgage on a property with a short lease as it may decrease the security on any loan offered.

If you have a long lease remaining then it is almost not worth your while going through the expense and time of extending it as you aren’t likely to see any benefit from it and could in fact lose out financially. If you don’t have spare cash to extend your lease then it’s probably worth leaving it, as it can cost many thousands of pounds. If you only intend to be in the property for a few years before upgrading or selling on and there is already a reasonable amount of time remaining then it is almost definitely not worth doing it. And if you plan to buy out the entire freehold then there is no point extending the lease at all.

However if you do plan to extend the lease then the sooner you do the cheaper it will be. The cost of extending a lease tends to increase the shorter it gets, particularly if it has less than 80 years remaining. Usually you can request a 90 year extension once you have owned the property for two years or more. It is possible to enter into a non-statutory agreement if you have lived in the property for less than two years, but it’s probably easier to simply wait until the two years have passed. The last thing you want to do is wait until it gets near or below 80-90 years as this could begin to cause a problem if you need to move quickly in the future.

by Cormac Henderson

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