Common questions relating to Aston leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years left on my flat in Aston. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Aston.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Aston. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Aston ?
The majority of houses in Aston are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Aston in which case you should be looking for a Aston conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Aston both have about 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Aston is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat 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 property 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 Aston 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Aston where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Aston conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 choosing a Aston conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Aston conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Aston conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I purchased a 1 bedroom flat in Aston, conveyancing formalities finalised 6 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Aston with a long lease are worth £176,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease ends on 21st October 2091
With 71 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £8,600 and £9,800 as well as costs.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.