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Lease Extensions and Enfranchisement: Protecting Leasehold Interests

Lease Extensions and Enfranchisement: Protecting Leasehold Interests

As a homeowner, understanding lease extensions and enfranchisement is crucial to protect your leasehold interests. Whether you own a flat or a house on a lease, it is important to be aware of your rights and options when it comes to extending your lease or buying the freehold. In this article, we will explore the basics of lease extensions and enfranchisement, and how they can benefit leaseholders like yourself.

What is a Lease Extension?

A lease extension is a process that allows leaseholders to extend the term of their lease beyond its original term. Typically, residential leases have a fixed term, often between 99 and 125 years. As the lease term decreases, the value of the property may diminish, making it more difficult to sell or secure financing. A lease extension helps leaseholders regain value and control over their property.

Leaseholders have the right to extend their lease by an additional 90 years on top of the remaining term and with a peppercorn ground rent. By extending the lease, they effectively reset the clock, ensuring that the property retains its value and marketability. It is essential to note that leaseholders must meet specific eligibility criteria to qualify for a lease extension.

Why Extend Your Lease?

There are several reasons why leaseholders should consider extending their lease:

  1. Preservation of Value: A lease with a shorter term can significantly impact the value of a property. By extending the lease, a leaseholder can preserve the value and marketability of their property.
  2. Improved Financing: Lenders are often reluctant to provide mortgages for properties with diminishing lease terms. Extending the lease increases the chances of securing desirable financing options.
  3. Peace of Mind: A longer lease term provides peace of mind and security for both current and future generations of homeowners.

Through a lease extension, you can regain control over your property and ensure its long-term value. However, the process may involve complex legal requirements and negotiations with the landlord. It is advisable to seek legal advice from an experienced solicitor specializing in property law for lease extension matters.

What is Enfranchisement?

Enfranchisement refers to the process of leaseholders collectively buying the freehold of their property. This option is available to leaseholders who meet specific eligibility criteria, including the length of their lease and the number of participating leaseholders in the building or development.

By enfranchising, leaseholders can gain more control over the management and maintenance of their property. It effectively removes the need for ground rent payments, provides collective ownership, and offers more extensive decision-making power through the establishment of a residents’ management company.

Benefits of Enfranchisement:

Enfranchisement offers several benefits to leaseholders:

  1. Ownership and Control: Buying the freehold gives leaseholders complete ownership and control over the property. This includes decisions related to repairs, management, and any alterations or improvements to the building.
  2. The Elimination of Ground Rent: The need for ground rent payments is eradicated, allowing leaseholders to save money and have more control over their property.
  3. Increase in Property Value: Owning a share of the freehold can enhance the value of the property and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Enfranchisement can be a complex process, involving multiple leaseholders, negotiations with the landlord, and legal considerations. It is advisable to consult a solicitor experienced in property and land law to guide you through the enfranchisement process and protect your interests.


Lease extensions and enfranchisement are vital options for leaseholders to protect their interests, preserve property value, and gain control over their homes. Whether you opt for a lease extension or enfranchisement, the process can be intricate, requiring legal expertise and knowledge of property and land law.

At SQE Property Law & Land Law, our team of experienced solicitors can provide you with expert advice and guidance throughout the lease extension or enfranchisement process. Our expertise in property law and deep knowledge of leasehold matters will ensure that your interests are protected and that you achieve the best possible outcome.

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