Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Aldermanbury:

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Recently asked questions relating to Aldermanbury leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years remaining on my flat in Aldermanbury. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Aldermanbury.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Aldermanbury. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

I work for a reputable estate agency in Aldermanbury where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Aldermanbury conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Aldermanbury conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Aldermanbury conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Aldermanbury conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the charges for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Aldermanbury with the intention of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Aldermanbury can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Aldermanbury state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Should you dont have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
  • If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Organising a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming process and slows down many a Aldermanbury home move. Where a new share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have given up negotiating a lease extension in Aldermanbury. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Aldermanbury premises is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 72.39 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Aldermanbury