Leaseholders who own flats can either extend their leases under the law if they meet certain criteria (formal route), or by asking the freeholder to see whether they are willing to negotiate a lease extension informally (informal route).
Under this route the freeholder and the leaseholder need to follow a procedure and strict timescales set out in the law. This route offers more protection to a leaseholder if the parties cannot not agree the terms and/or the price. Leaseholders can in this case apply to the Tribunal to decide on the issue.
Under this route, a leaseholder can approach the freeholder in the first instance and ask whether they are interested in negotiating a lease extension. There is no obligation on the freeholder to respond or to agree to extend the lease following this request. If the freeholder agrees then both parties will have to negotiate.
It is worth starting the process informally as it could save time and money. But if negotiations fail, then leaseholders who comply with the criteria, can use the formal route to try and extend their lease and go to the Tribunal if no agreement on the price or terms can be reached.
Download a template informal letter enquiring about lease extension of a flat, or to purchase the freehold of a house or flat
Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area.
More information you might find useful:
- Lease Extension – Getting Started
- Lease Extension Calculator
- More Frequently Asked Questions on Lease Extension
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