Extending your lease

Most leaseholders have the right to extend their lease under the terms of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act (1993).

The Council's Legal Services do not provide advice or provide an indication of the cost to extend your lease. Before you make an application to extend your lease you should seek your own independent advice.

Leases are granted for a period of 99 or 125 years. As a leaseholder you will own your property for a fixed term period as stated in your lease.

Once the remaining lease falls below 80 years, it may be difficult to re-sell your property. Lenders are often unwilling to offer mortgages on properties with less than 80 years unexpired.

We can help you to extend your lease through two routes:  

  • Statutory Lease Extension or,
  • Voluntary Lease Extension

You may wish to obtain a valuation of your home from a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors accredited surveyor, to get an indication of the likely cost (premium) you will pay to extend your lease.

There is further information on the Leasehold Advisory Service website, including an online lease extension calculator which may help you to estimate how much it will cost to extend your lease.

Statutory Lease Extension

If you are a Leaseholder you are able to extend your lease by adding a further 90 years through a statutory process, providing you meet the following criteria:

  • You must have been a leaseholder for a minimum of two years.
  • The lease must have been granted for more than 21 years.

You do not have to be a resident leaseholder. Once it is extended your ground rent will be set at a ‘peppercorn’ rent (£0).

How it is assessed:

  • the value of the ground rent income
  • the value of the Freeholder's ‘reversion’ at the end of the lease. Reversion refers to when a property "reverts" to the original owner once the lease term has expired.
  • 50% of the 'marriage value' i.e. the amount that the value of the flat increases when the lease is extended. Marriage value is not payable if the existing lease has more than 80 years unexpired.

Alongside the premium, the Leaseholder is obliged to pay the Council’s legal costs, valuation costs and the Stamp Duty.

If you wish to explore this option, please write to the Home Ownership team at: HM-HomeownershipTeam@rbkc.gov.uk

To start the statutory process, you will need to appoint a solicitor to submit a formal notice under section 42 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. The notice should be submitted to the Director of Legal Services at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, The Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX or by DX to 84015 Kensington High Street 2. 

We recommend you seek independent legal advice to help you as the process can be complicated.

Voluntary Lease Extension

Kensington and Chelsea Council also offer voluntary lease extensions. This non-statutory procedure means you do not need to serve a formal notice under Statutory Section 42 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.

Leaseholders can extend at any time regardless of how long they have owned their lease.

Leaseholders can extend their lease for as many years as they can up to 125 years in addition to their remaining lease term, providing they pay the Council a premium (which is to be valued).

The Ground Rent will be £50 per annum.

  • There will be a reduction in the premium for a voluntary lease extension of £7,500. This means that the premium cost of your lease extension will be reduced by £7,500 and in exchange you will have to surrender your existing lease and will be granted a new lease for 125 years. The new lease will allow the council to charge for works of improvement which the current lease does not permit.

Alongside the premium, the Leaseholder is obliged to pay the Council’s legal costs, valuation costs and the Stamp Duty.

We recommend you seek independent legal advice to help you with the process as it can be complicated.

If you wish to explore this option, please write to the Home Ownership team at: HM-HomeownershipTeam@rbkc.gov.uk