Lease extensions explained
If you are a leaseholder, it is likely that you either purchased a home from L&Q outright or you are a shared owner.
The majority of L&Q's leases were originally granted in the early eighties and it is likely that the term was 99 years. This means that the remaining term of your lease may have shortened significantly.
We have found that if the lease term falls below 80 years, this could make it difficult for the leaseholder if they want to sell their 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.
A lease extension is a statutory right for 100% leaseholders provided you meet the eligibility criteria detailed below.
Shared owners are cannot formally apply to extend their lease through this statutory right, but L&Q still offer an informal lease extension service.
In order to be eligible for a lease extension you must hold the lease of the flat and this means hold a lease:
- With a term of 21 years or greater
- Granted under the Social HomeBuy Scheme with 100% ownership
- Granted under the Right to Buy or Right to Acquire rent to mortgage terms
- Own 100% of their home through a lease (100% leaseholder)
To progress formally, a 100% leaseholder must have held their lease for at least two years. We ask the same for shared owners, however this is at our discretion and assessed on a case by cases basis.
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 and 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 are 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 are 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
Shared owners are only able to extend their lease informally as you do not qualify for a new lease as defined in the Leasehold Reform 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 L&Q's discretion.
For all lease extensions, your current lease is surrendered and we would grant you a new lease for the extended term. It is likely that your lease will be extended for 90 years on top of the current term. This is statutory, but there may be occasions where the term can be less and this will be dependent on whether L&Q own the freehold of your home. This will be determined as part of the process.
We have a dedicated panel of independent surveyors [PDF, 59 KB] 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 [PDF, 34 KB] 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.
For more information you can contact us online.