It's no secret that owning a home is one of the greatest comforts in life. However, that means going through the long process of preparing the necessary documents, talking to the right people, and getting a down payment ready. While the first two things are relatively easy, it can be hard to have money for a down payment. For this reason, many people choose to rent.
When you rent, you're under a lease agreement because you're using the owner's asset, which in this case is their property. The owner gets the money you pay for rent, and you get to stay in the property for a certain period of time. When the lease period is over, you need to go back to your residence, and the owner has their property back. Unfortunately, many people have difficulty finding a place to stay, so they resort to extending the lease whenever they can. Depending on certain factors, a lease extension might take long or short.
We’ve gathered some of the most common questions about lease extensions in this article. Read on below to get started.
The Basics of Extending A Lease
A lease extension is an advantage, but this advantage is only available when you rent the property from your landlord. For example, if you rent a flat for five years, you can add another year to the lease, and you'll only have to pay a higher amount of rent. For this reason, you'll have to check your lease agreement to see if your landlord has allowed lease extensions.
With that out of the way, here are some of the most common FAQs about lease extensions.
"Will I have to pay for the extension?"
You won't have to pay for an extension most of the time. This is because extensions are added to the lease, which is between you and the landlord. For example, if the landlord extends your lease for a year, then you'll have to pay the extra rent for that year. The good news is that you'll only have to pay for the lease extension if you want to continue living in the property.
"How much would it cost to extend the lease on a flat?"
If you're extending a lease on a flat, then you'll have to pay an additional amount of rent. If you have a one-year lease and want to extend it for another year, then the rent for that year would be more than the one-year lease. The amount of the additional rent will depend on your lease, but most of the time, it's between 10%-15% of your annual rent.
In some cases, an extension can cost you more because there is a greater demand for it. For example, a flat in South Kensington will be far more popular than a flat in Rotherhithe. For this reason, it might cost you double for an extension on a flat in South Kensington than it would in Rotherhithe.
"Is it possible to build an extension on a leasehold property?"
If your property is leasehold, your landlord can add an extension to the lease if they wish to. However, there are certain conditions for this to occur. The two major factors are:
The Length of Your Lease
It’s easier to add an extension when you're under a long lease. For example, if you have a 50-year lease, your landlord can add an extension of 10 years. This is because you've got a long time to go before the lease ends. On the other hand, if you only have five years left on your lease, the landlord has no time to build the extension.
There are two things when it comes to meeting needs: urgent needs and planned needs. Urgent needs require the landlord's immediate attention, and the landlord can't ignore them. On the other hand, planned needs are those that you can wait for—for example, an extension.
If you need an urgent need to be met, you can extend your lease by adding a new condition. This is a condition called the “Right to Extend”, which means that the landlord must permit you to extend your lease. The landlord can't just refuse since they're not allowed to do that.
The Role of Ground Rent
If you're planning to extend the lease on a leasehold property, the landlord may subject you to ground rent. It makes things more complicated because ground rent is paid for the entire property, not just for the lease. For example, if the property was subject to a £2000 ground rent, and you're requesting an extension for a year, then the landlord will still have to pay £2000 for the ground rent.
"Can I add an extension if I have a short lease?"
Yes, you can. Having a short lease means you have to agree on more things with your landlord. For example, if you've got a one-year lease, you need to know how much your rent will be the following year, and you also need to know how much longer you'll be in the property. You can add an extension to your lease, but it will cost you more in rent.
"Is it possible to extend the lease on a shared ownership property?
Yes, you can. Shared ownership is a popular idea because it allows you to purchase a certain percentage of your property. For example, if you have a 75% stake in your flat, you'll have to pay 75% of the rent. Although this situation often occurs, two scenarios can make it more difficult.
If your lease is with an agency, you're likely to have a shorter lease than someone buying their property. This is because the agency doesn't want the property to be with a stranger for a long time. On the other hand, you're likely to have a longer lease than someone buying their property if your lease is with a housing association. This is because a housing association allows you to upgrade your property and become a permanent resident.
"Can you extend the lease on a freehold property?"
If you're living in a freehold property, it's possible to extend your lease. The thing is that you'll have to pay ground rent, which is a charge for living on the property. The ground rent is paid to the freeholder, who owns the property. If you want to extend the lease, you'll have to pay a certain amount of ground rent. You'll also have to pay rent if you’re going to extend the lease because you're renting the property from the freeholder. Remember that the ground rent for an extension is permanent, which means that you'll keep paying it even after the lease is over. However, this amount will be significantly less than the standard ground rent.
The Difference between Leasehold and Freehold Properties
Leasehold properties are rented from a landlord or a property agency. This means that you don't get to keep the property at the end of the lease. On the other hand, freehold properties are owned by a freeholder with no tenant. Technically, there is no such thing as a freehold property. Instead, this term is used to describe land that belongs to a freeholder.
Extending a lease is a good option if you want to stay in the property. But before this can happen, you need to know your lease terms and conditions, as well as your landlord's terms and conditions. You should also consider the ground rent and the costs involved.
Conveyancing is a necessary part of the lease extension process. If you’re looking for the best conveyancing solicitors, Conveyancing Calculator is the one for you! Our services are online and completely free, so the process will be faster. Simply go to our website to get started!