Your lease is likely to be gone within 80 years—that’s often too soon to consider an extension, or at least an extension may not be your best option. You might want to try going month by month or improving your situation to afford the increase in the rent.
You have a legal right to extend your lease, but it is costly. So let’s look at the reasons why you might open, as well as the circumstances under which you’re not allowed to develop.
In January 2021, the government announced its intention to change the rules about extending a lease for flats and houses. They want to make it easier and cheaper for people to develop their lease, but landlords are not happy.
What Happens When I Extend My Lease?
When your lease runs out, it comes to an end. It does not automatically renew unless you have included that clause in your tenancy agreement.
If you want to extend your lease, you must negotiate with your landlord to agree on a new fixed term.
In the case of houses or flats, your existing lease will run for six months past the date of expiry. In the case of an assured tenancy, your current lease may run for up to six months.
Under the proposed changes, landlords will still have the right to evict tenants after the fixed term to sell their property, but tenants will have more security in the process.
When Should I Extend My Lease?
You may want to extend your lease if:
You want to stay in your house or flat for a more extended period.
You want to avoid another six-month lease.
You want to stay in your house or flat while your property is being refurbished or your land is being developed.
You have insufficient funds to move right now.
You are a long-term tenant who feels you have the right to remain in your flat until your death.
What’s more, you might go for an extended lease if you are worried about the challenges of moving house.
But consider that extending your lease is expensive. You will probably pay your landlord a high rental fee - and maybe a legal fee as well.
What Is the Perfect Time to Extend My Lease?
In some circumstances, extending your lease might be the best option.
For example, if you want to remain in your home, but you have to wait until you get a bigger loan to buy your own house, extending your lease may be better than paying rent every month.
You may also want to extend if you have made improvements to your home and you are being charged for it. Or if you have found that the value of the flat has gone up and you want to cash in.
Or you might want to extend for a set time if you are working abroad for about a year.
What Are the Consequences of Not Extending My Lease?
In the case of an assured tenancy, if you don’t extend your lease, you will have to move your belongings within a few weeks and leave the property.
Under the proposed changes, landlords will still have the right to evict tenants after the end of the fixed term in order to sell their property, but tenants will have more security in the process.
Why You Might Not Want to Extend Your Lease
You should consider not extending your lease if:
You intend to buy your own property.
You want to sell your house or flat.
You have been on the property for a long time.
You don’t want to pay a high rent.
You want to move.
What Are the Disadvantages of Extending My Lease?
If you extend your lease, you will face some disadvantages, including:
You will probably have to pay higher rent.
You may be responsible for paying your landlord’s legal fees.
Your landlord will probably demand to complete repairs.
Am I Even Allowed to Extend My Lease?
To extend your lease, you will need to get the landlord to agree. However, if you rent a house or flat, the landlord cannot refuse to let you extend - unless the house or flat is being sold.
What Are My Rights When I Extend My Lease?
In general, you will have the same rights and duties as you would if your lease had run out. That means you may be liable to pay higher rent. Your landlord will probably want you to complete repairs.
If your landlord is not in the same condition as when you first moved in, you will probably be legally obliged to continue paying the same rent that was agreed with the previous landlord.
Check your tenancy agreement carefully to see if you have any ’break clauses’ that your landlord can use to require you to leave sooner than the original term.
But if you are an assured tenant and you and your landlord have failed to agree on what should happen in the end.
What Do I Do If I Want to Extend My Lease?
In the case of a house or flat, you may want to write your landlord a letter explaining that you want to extend your lease for a certain number of years. You will include your preferred rental rate.
In the case of an assured tenancy, you can give notice that you want to extend your lease before the lease runs out. After you have written your letter or given your notice, you must wait while your landlord responds to you.
Do note that if you are on the receiving end of the notice, you have less than four weeks to respond. Your landlord may be busy, so you need to send your letter by recorded delivery to make sure they get it. If they do not respond within the appropriate time, then you can go ahead and extend your lease.
Tips for Extending Your Lease
Most leases can be extended, but they may be expensive. Be prepared to pay high fees to extend your lease. You can extend your lease once, but if you do so, it will then be fixed. Your landlord cannot then raise your rent.
If you want to extend your lease, you should not allow yourself to fall behind with the rent. Ideally, you should pay at least two months in advance.
Extending your lease is a good idea if you have nowhere else to go. You must ensure that you are prepared to pay a high rental fee and have the means to keep up with the new monthly rent.
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