News & Insights: Property

Extension of NI Housing Executive Leases

22 June 2023

Northern Ireland Housing Executive Flats are sold with a lease term of 125 years which decreases as time goes on. For example, if you bought your flat in June of 1970, you would only have 53 years left to run on your flat lease. Since most mortgage lenders require a lease to have at least 70-80 years of term left to run, if you bought your flat in 1970, you would be unable to sell to someone needing a mortgage.

In 2022, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive introduced a new Leasehold Extension policy which allows existing Leaseholders to apply to purchase an extension to their unexpired leasehold term. This new policy will help flat owners with Housing Executive Leases who have struggled to sell or remortgage their properties in recent years due to the short terms left on the leases.

You can apply at any time to extend your lease up to a maximum term of 125 years and there is no limitation on the number of times you can apply.


A brief overview of the process:

  • Applicants must make an application subject to eligibility criteria.
  • Applicants must pay a premium when a grant for lease extension has been approved.
  • The existing flat lease will be surrendered, and a new Extended Flat Lease will be granted.
  • This new Extended Flat Lease will have similar terms to the original Flat Lease.


How do I apply?

You can find further information on the Housing Executives website where you can download the Leasehold Extension Application Form and the Guidance Leaflet.

It is important to complete the Application Form in full, or it will be returned.

Am I eligible?

You must be the fully registered owner of the flat, and where there are multiple registered owners, all must be a party to the application.

You must be in full compliance with all the leasehold covenants and conditions in your existing Flat Lease.

Your flat must not be affected by any NIHE business case, strategy or proposal which would make the grant of a lease extension inappropriate.

How much will it cost?

There are costs involved in this process which are important to be aware of. The NIHE recommend that you discuss the full cost of the lease extension when instructing your solicitor before deciding to continue.

You can use the Leasehold Extension Premium Calculator on the website to get a cost estimate, but the minimum premium (before legal costs) is £2500.

The Valuation Fee:

If the NIHE are satisfied you meet the eligibility criteria, the next step is to pay the valuation fee of £100 to the NIHE to value your flat.

The valuation fee is £100 and is non-refundable; however, it will be deducted from the final premium payable if your application is approved and a leasehold extension is granted.

Additional Costs:

There will also be additional costs involved in obtaining a lease extension which you will have to cover, including solicitor fees, costs and outlays and Land Registry fees

Do I need a solicitor?

You must provide your solicitor’s details while completing the application as you cannot proceed without instructing a solicitor.


While the process may have its complications, it remains a welcome step forward for owners of flats with Housing Executive Leases. This process provides a means to rectify issues flat-owners have faced with mortgage lenders rejecting short-term leases.

If you are a flat owner with a Housing Executive Lease and thinking about selling or remortgaging your property and want further legal advice, please contact the Conveyancing Team at O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors.

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