Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Ampthill:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Ampthill leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Ampthill. Before diving in I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Ampthill - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Ampthill which have about fifty years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Ampthill 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 value of the property. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 property 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 a residence 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 Ampthill conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 the agreed 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've recently bought a leasehold property in Ampthill. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Ampthill where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Ampthill conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate 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 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 before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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 makes a Ampthill lease unacceptable for security purposes?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Ampthill. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Chelsea Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.

I inherited a ground floor flat in Ampthill, conveyancing was carried out in 1997. How much will my lease extension cost? Equivalent flats in Ampthill with an extended lease are worth £215,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £60 charged once a year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2093

With only 72 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £10,500 and £12,000 plus costs.

The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

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Lease Extensions in Ampthill