Recently asked questions relating to Amersham leasehold conveyancing
Planning to complete next month on a basement flat in Amersham. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Amersham should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
I’m about to sell my garden flat in Amersham.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you discharge the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Amersham both have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Amersham is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Amersham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Amersham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Amersham conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to 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 sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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 purchaser.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Amersham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Amersham conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Amersham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Amersham Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should ask Prior to buying
How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?
You will want to discover as much as possible concerning the managing agents as they can either make life much easier or problematic. Being a leasehold owner you are frequently in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to day to day matters such as the tidiness of the common parts. Enquire of other people what they think of their service. On a final note, be sure you discover the dates that the maintenance fees are due to the managing agents and precisely what it includes.
If a Amersham lease has no more than eighty years it will affect the salability of the apartment. It is worth checking with your mortgage company that they are willing to go ahead with the loan given the lease term. Leases with less than 80 years remaining means that you will most likely have to extend the lease at some point and you need to have some idea of what this will be. Remember, in most cases you would be be obliged to have owned the property for two years before you are legally able to carry out a lease extension.