The City of Westminster Lease Extensions
Living in The City of Westminster:
On the north bank of the River Thames lies The City of Westminster, which has the unique status of being both a city and borough in London. Westminster is best known for its political and economic importance. It has been the home of England’s Government since 1200 and the United Kingdom since 1707.
Besides the Houses of Parliament, Westminster includes many of London’s finest tourist attractions, such as Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery and Westminster Abbey. The area is architecturally astonishing, featuring a mix of treasured historical designs and sleek upmarket commercial buildings that grace the streets of Mayfair and Marylebone.
If you’re lucky enough to snap up a property here, your home may require a lease extension – The Lease Extension Company can assist you with this procedure.
- Population: The latest statistics taken in 2021 reveal that the population of Westminster stands at 204,300. The area has seen a surprising 6.9% decrease in residents over the past decade (Office for National Statistics).
- Housing Price: Properties in the City Of Westminster had an overall average price of £1,770,791 across the last year, with the vast majority of sales being on flats and maisonettes (Rightmove).
- Regions in Westminster: Bayswater, Belgravia, Chinatown, Charing Cross, Covent Garden, Fitzrovia, Holborn, Knightsbridge, Little Venice, Maida Vale, Marylebone, Mayfair, Paddington, Pimlico, Regents Park, Soho, St. James’s, St. John’s Wood, Trafalgar Square, Victoria, Westminster.
- Local Authority: The local authority in The City of Westminster is Westminster City Council.
Lease Extensions in Westminster
If you own a property in the City of Westminster, you have a legal right to extend your lease by an additional 90 years. You can take the statutory (formal) or voluntary (informal) route to do this.
When you’ve owned your property for at least two years, we advocate for the statutory route because it gives significant legal protection under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.
The local authority, Westminster City Council, agrees with this approach and encourages leaseholders to take the statutory route. This information and a helpful Section 42 template are available on the ‘Extend your lease’ section of the council’s website.
Leaseholders are strongly advised to seek independent legal advice to give an accurate property valuation and ensure the lease extension runs smoothly. Trust in The Lease Extension Company to secure the cheapest premium and fairest lease terms. To learn more about our work, please view our excellent record of case studies.
The Lease Extension Process
Before commencing your lease extension, see below for a brief overview of the statutory procedure.
- Eligibility Check
- Serving the Section 42 Notice
- Receipt of the Section 45 Counter Offer
- Agreement of Terms
- Registration of your new lease
To learn more, visit our ‘How Long Will My Lease Take?’ article for additional details on each step.
Serving the Section 42 Tenant’s Notice
Before your Section 42 notice is drafted, one of our firms of specialist chartered surveyors will undertake the valuation of your property for the purpose of the lease extension and identify the likely ‘premium’ (the price of your lease extension) you will pay your freeholder.
Identifying Your Competent Landlord
Our specialist solicitors will also identify the ‘competent landlord’ whose interest in the property is long enough to grant your 90-year lease extension.
Sometimes, this will be the direct landlord or housing management to whom you pay your service charge or ground rent. However, the competent landlord is often the freeholder of the building.
The Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 requires leaseholders to serve a Tenant’s Notice (Section 42 notice) on the ‘competent landlord’. The Section 42 notice commences the lease extension and must include certain key legal information. This is a technical legal notice, and it’s essential that it’s correctly drafted and validated to ensure your lease extension is deemed valid.
At The Lease Extension Company, we work with specialist legal firms in this very niche area of law, ensuring that your notice is drafted and reviewed by leading experts in this field. The Section 42 notice will be sent to you for approval before it is forwarded to the solicitors who will serve the notice to the Freeholder on your behalf.
To help locate your competent landlord, see below for details of the main freeholders operating in The City of Westminster.
Key Freeholders in The City of Westminster:
The most prominent freeholder of flats and maisonettes in the area is Westminster City Council. In many cases, the council may act as your competent landlord.
Several independent not-for-profit organisations also provide affordable housing in the area. Providers include A2Dominion, Peabody, L&Q Group and Notting Hill Genesis. The complete list of providers is indexed on the council’s ‘Housing Association accommodation’ webpage.
Please note that any shared ownership leaseholders will only qualify for the statutory right to extend their lease once they have ‘staircased’ up to 100% ownership.
Finding Your Freeholder
Your original lease document will include the contact details of your freeholder. If you can’t locate your lease, you can request a copy from the HM Land Registry for a small fee.
Alternatively, Westminster City Council can also arrange for a new copy to be sent to you. Look to the ‘Your Lease’ section of the council website for more information, including their proposed fees and postal address.
If you are a client of The Lease Extension Company, we are happy to organise a copy of your lease on your behalf.
How Much Will Your Lease Extension Cost?
One of the most common questions about extending a lease is how much it will cost. Truthfully, the answer varies from property to property because it’s based on the following factors:
- The value of your property.
- The amount of ground rent you pay and how much it increases over time.
- The number of years remaining on your lease.
Your costs can also depend on your route to obtain your lease extension.
- Informal Lease Extensions: Costs are determined and agreed upon directly with your freeholder.
- Statutory Lease Extensions: You are responsible for the valuation and legal costs of both you and your freeholder, plus the premium for the additional years on your lease.
To help get a rough estimate of your potential costs, use the Lease Extension Calculator tool on our website.
All About Our Fixed Fee Service
The Lease Extension Company is transforming the typical lease extension process by taking a simple approach to this murky area of property law.
We will develop a detailed plan for each client, covering all stages, legal requirements, and your expected costs. We will combine all prices into one simple fixed fee so you understand your expenses from the get-go.
On top of this, you’ll receive the professional guidance of an experienced surveyor and solicitor who will ensure you’re not paying a penny more for your lease extension (premium) than necessary.
Use The LEC for Lease Extensions in Westminster
Lease extensions can be daunting to take on alone, so seek support from The Lease Extension Company to ensure you get the best possible results for your property.
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What Our Clients Say
"Thank you so much for your help. You made what at first appeared like a big daunting and expensive task, simple, easy to understand and almost fun!"
Jackie and Phil - Southampton
"Thank you for helping with our freehold. Everyone has been very helpful and friendly even our surveyor and lawyer were very friendly and got things done quickly."
Kevin - Bournemouth
"Thank you for all your effort in helping us extending the lease. I sincerely believe you saved us a lot of time and money. Please can you offer the same service for buying a house?!"
Mark - Manchester
"Tabitha thank you and your team for all your advice and help it was much appreciated. We can’t thank you all enough for making sense of our position and helping us find the solution. We couldn’t recommend the LEC more highly."
Sandra and Tom - Leeds
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