Your lease is the document that gives you the right to live in your property for a certain amount of time – usually 99 or 125 years. Once the time remaining on your lease drops under 80 years, the value of your property will begin to decrease and the cost of extending your lease will increase. A shorter lease will make it more difficult to find a buyer for your flat and it may make it difficult to remortgage. For these reasons it’s best to extend your lease before it drops under 80 years.

Although there isn't a legal right for Shared Owners to extend their lease, we know this is something that is important to our customers, and we have an informal process in place for you to follow. If you own 100% of your property you may also choose to use this option. There’s also a formal (or statutory) process outlined for 100% owners, however the fees and charges will be considerably higher. Both lease extension procedures result in a 90-year extension with no further ground rent.

Which process applies to you?

  • Informal lease extension process

    Around 97% of homeowners use our informal lease extension process. Please download the full lease extension guide below for more detailed information. 

    Here's how it works in sum:

    Step 1:  You'll need to contact us to make an initial payment to cover the administration and surveyor fees.

    Step 2:  We'll instruct an independent surveyor to do a home visit and carry out a valuation to determine the exact price for the lease extension premium (the price of buying the extra years).

    Step 3:  We'll forward you a copy of the valuation to you with a proposal letter offering the lease extension at the price determined by the surveyor.

    Step 4:  You'll need to confirm with us that you wish to proceed, and provide us with your solicitor's details. We will instruct our solicitor to deal with your solicitors to draw up the documents to extend your lease.

    Step 5:  On completion, your solicitor will register this with the land registry and thereby formalise the amendments that have been made to your lease.

  • Formal lease extension process

    There is a formal (statutory) process for a lease extension. If you're a 100% owner (not a Shared Owner) and have owned your home for at least two years, you may choose this option. About 3% of our lessees carry out a lease extension this way. Please read through the full lease extension guide below for more details on this process. Note that you'll need to speak to your solicitor for more in-depth information and to start this process.

  • If Notting Hill Genesis is not your freeholder

    If we are not your freeholder, it's still possible to extend your lease. Each situation is different so you may need to contact our Legal Administration team on 0203 815 1384 or email legaladmin@nhhg.org.uk to discuss this. If our head lease is substantially longer than your lease we may be able to do an extension using our informal process. If our head lease is the same length as yours, we may need to contact your freeholder or managing agent to investigate. Please download the full lease extension guide below for more information.

  • If you live in a house

    If you are a Shared Owner of a house, your lease will usually entitle you to obtain the freehold on final staircasing. This means that, provided final staircasing takes place before the lease expires, a lease extension should not be necessary. Please check your lease to ensure that you'll acquire the freehold on final staircasing and read more in the full lease extension guide below.

Lease extension guide

Download our full lease extension guide to read the requirements and see which option makes most sense for you.

FAQs

  • Do I need to extend my lease?

    You do not need to extend your lease and for many people this may not be financially an option however it is advisable to do so. 

  • Why is it important to consider a lease extension before the lease drops under 80 years?

    The framework that the law sets for establishing the cost of the premium calculates this differently after the lease drops under 80 years and the premium will be much higher. It will also increase at a steeper rate each year. The lower the amount of years on your lease, the higher the premium will be.

    Banks are hesitant to lend money to buy properties if the lease is under 80 years so they become more difficult to sell, and the sales price will also be reduced.

  • How long do I have to complete the informal lease extension process?

    The surveyors valuation is valid for 3 months however we give you an extra 3 months in which to complete.

    If you’ve not completed within 6 months from the date on the valuation we cannot extend the deadline and we’ll require an updated valuation from the surveyor. This will cost £200 +VAT and it will give you a further 6 months in which to complete. Please note that the premium will have increase a bit since the last valuation however if the lease drops under 80 years in this time, the premium will increase considerably.

  • Can I use my own surveyor or negotiate the price of the valuation?

    We’ll only use the valuation by the surveyors nominated by us and we are not able to consider any other valuation. The surveyor is instructed to do the valuation based on a fair price which is the price that he feels would be arrived at after a period of negotiation. We will not enter into any negation of the premium.

  • Will the surveyor take into consideration work that I have done on my property?

    Yes. The surveyor will discount the value of any improvements made by you, provided you can show that these were approved by NHG. If these did not receive prior approval, you might need to contact your property management officer to obtain retrospective consent before we can proceed.

  • How is the cost of the lease extension premium worked out?

    A RICS surveyor estimates the price that you will pay. The law sets out a framework that is used to work out the premium, and this framework is used by the surveyor. This is based on the number of years left on your lease and the current market value of your flat. It also takes into account ground rent.

  • What if I have arrears on my rent or service charge account?

    As with any legal completion, you will need to pay any money owed on your account before the lease extension can complete. If you have large arrears on your account, we may ask you to clear these before you can start the process, even if you have worked out a payment plan with your property management officer (PMO). If you have had made irregular payments over time that have resulted in arrears we will insist on a direct debit being set up with your PMO before you can compete.