Now is the time!
Like many of you, the Barbican Life team are starting out on exciting journeys to extend our leases. As of September 2022, most of the leases have just under 84 years to run. You do not want to let the lease run down to 80 years – the price jumps much higher and the process is more complex.
We’re going to make it simple; in many cases it will be straightforward, but if your lease is owned by a company or you have complicated tax and legal affairs, then you are well advised to consult a specialist solicitor.
Step 1: Ask one of the authorised estate agents for a valuation
Some offer this free. The estate agents currently authorised with the Barbican Estate Office are: Frank Harris (0207 600 7000), Hamilton Brooks (0207 606 8000), Nicola Lee (020 3488 4330) and Scott City (0207 600 0026. The estate agent will need to know the name(s) of the owners of the current lease (so they can do their official letter correctly). They will send the valuation letter to you. This can all be done over email in most cases but of course, they will need to pop around to take a look at the place.
Step 2: Get the forms from the Corporation
Either pop down to the BEO office or call them up and ask for the Lease Extension (LE) team. They will give you or email you 2 files: (1) a guide to lease extensions and (2) section 42 form.
Step 3: Send the LE team your valuation letter
You can drop it into them or just email it to them.
Step 4: The LE team tell you how much to pay
There is a standard formula used to calculate this. The LE team will email or post (depending on how you contacted them in the first place) the renewal premium that will be due.
Step 5: Complete the section 42 form
If you have a mortgage, check with your mortgage company if they will let you submit the section 42 form yourself. Many mortgage companies insist that a solicitor takes over the lease extension process at this point. Alternatively, you may prefer a specialist solicitor to handle the whole process from the start.
The completed forms should be returned to the Barbican Estate Office. You must make sure that the completed form is RETURNED the SAME DAY that you DATE THE FORM.
The City of London Corporation’s legal fee charge for a standard lease extension renewal is £535. This fee is in addition to the renewal premium (as well as your own legal costs) and is paid on completion of the new lease. The fee may be higher if there is more work required for your particular renewal.
Step 6: Choose a solicitor (if you have not done so already)
Lease extension documents must be submitted to the Land Registry. Your solicitor will do this. When we extended a lease about 10 years ago we tried to do the whole thing ourselves. The Land Registry submission was rejected because of errors we made on the TONS of extra forms and proofs they required.
Step 7: Wait
Almost everyone reports that the Land Registry process the solicitor deals with takes AGES, so patience is key!
Need More Information?
Barbican Life are planning a series of meetings (some in person, and some on Zoom) with solicitors in the coming months. Let us know if you are interested and we’ll send you invites. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions and don’t enjoy Zoom or email, please contact us and we’ll share what we know to get you started. Phone: 078 42 23 52 68 or drop in a note with your contact details to 34 John Trundle and we’ll call you back.
Search on the Barbican Talk website for “SHARE YOUR LEASE EXTENSION EXPERIENCE” and see what other folks have done.
Check back regularly on barbicanlife.com/lease-extension and we’ll also add important information up there as it comes up.