As a leaseholder or shared owner, extending your lease may be an option you want to pursue – that's why we've created this guide to help you through the process.

An introduction to extending your lease

The number of years your lease is granted will be set out in the lease particulars and on the land registry title documents.

Where feasible, we now grant leases for up to 990 years.

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.

Extending your lease: check your eligibility

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 as an outright leaseholder, you must have held your 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 a legal agreement between us and you, 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:

The new lease will be granted for a term of up to 990 years, rather than just a 90-year extension under the formal route.

It is much simpler for both parties and the 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 as well as our 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.

Things to consider

For shared ownership customers, you're 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'll grant a new lease for the extended term.

For formal applications, it's 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'll 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're not the freeholder, we'll offer you the maximum term that we can. However, this will be within the limitations of our own Head Lease. We'll confirm the term that can be provided as part of our process.

We have a panel of independent surveyors, all qualified by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), who can help with valuing the cost of extending your lease.

You may also want to approach a solicitor and we have a panel of conveyancing solicitors who offer preferred rates to L&Q leaseholders. 

It's important that you consider the costs involved before deciding to extend your lease. To see the full list of our administration fees, please download a copy:

You can also visit the Lease Advice website for impartial advice and use their lease extension calculator to get a guide price for extending your lease.

Get in touch

For more information or to apply, please email our Homeownership team.

Our complete guide to Shared Ownership

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