Extending your lease
The number of years your lease is granted for will be set out in the lease particulars and on the land registry title documents.
Historically, most housing association leases were granted for either 99 or 125 years, but in recent years, leases have also been granted for 250 years. Where feasible, we now grant leases for up to 990 years. Some older leases or leases that have come into our management via a stock transfer from another housing association or local authority may differ.
If the lease term falls below 80 years, this could make it difficult for you if you want to sell your home or remortgage. From our experience, mortgage lenders will not consider a mortgage or remortgage application if the lease term is below 80 years as it increases their risk of lending against the home.
Extending a lease is a statutory right for 100% leaseholders - provided you meet the eligibility criteria detailed below.
For shared ownership customers, you can't formally apply to extend your lease through this statutory route, but we still offer an informal lease extension service.
In order to be eligible for a lease extension you must be the long-leaseholder and hold a lease:
- with a term of 21 years or more
- granted under the Social HomeBuy Scheme with 100% ownership
- granted under the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire
To progress formally, a 100% leaseholder must have held their lease for at least two years.
Formal vs informal lease extensions
As an outright leaseholder, you have two options to extend your lease:
- Option 1: Proceed formally in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Leasehold Reform, Housing & Urban Development Act 1993
- Option 2: Proceed informally by legal agreement between you and us, but still broadly following the principles of the above Act
You may have the right to extend your lease under option 1, and if you wish to pursue this we advise you to seek independent legal advice to confirm whether you do have this right and to obtain advice about the consequences of following this procedure.
We're happy for you to follow whichever route you choose, but option 2 has the following benefits:
- It is much simpler for both parties and may be cheaper for you (legal fees may be less than option 1)
- If you're happy to accept the valuation carried out by our panel valuer, you'll only need to pay for one valuation (under option 1, you would need to pay for your own valuation and also for L&Q's independent valuation, to verify your valuer's findings)
- We may have more flexibility as to what we can agree to if any of the terms of your existing lease need updating or changing
- It might be possible for us to be more flexible on the length of the new lease
Things to consider
For shared ownership customers you are only able to extend your lease informally as you do not qualify for a new lease as defined in the Leasehold Reform, Housing & Urban Development Act 1993.
The offer to extend your lease is subject to following our lease extension process where all decisions to extend your lease are at our discretion.
For all lease extensions, your current lease will be surrendered, and we would grant you a new lease for the extended term.
For formal applications, it is likely that your lease will be extended for 90 years on top of the current term. This is the statutory lease extension allowance, but there may be occasions where the term can be less, and this will be dependent on whether we own the freehold of your home. This will be determined as part of the process.
For informal applications received after 1 September 2021, we will extend your lease where possible to a new 990 year term. This will be dependent on whether we are the freeholder of your home. Where we are not the freeholder, will we offer you the maximum term that we can; however this will be within the limitations of our own Head Lease. We will confirm the term that can be provided, as part of our process.
We have a dedicated panel of independent surveyors who are all qualified by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) who will be able to assist with queries on valuing the cost of extending your lease.
You may also like to approach a solicitor and we have a panel of solicitors who offer preferred rates to L&Q leaseholders.
It is important for you to consider the costs involved before deciding to extend your lease. We make a charge to cover the cost of providing a service to you.
To find out more or to apply, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit the Lease Advice website for impartial advice and to use the lease extension calculator to obtain a guide price to extending your lease.