Common questions relating to Biddenham leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Biddenham. Before diving in I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is registered - and most are in Biddenham - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Biddenham. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Biddenham who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
First contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Biddenham conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am attracted to a two flats in Biddenham which have in the region of 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Biddenham is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most buyers and banks, 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 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 Biddenham 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Biddenham. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 be sure 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Biddenham conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Biddenham conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Biddenham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Biddenham in the last 12 months?
I own a 2 bed flat in Biddenham, conveyancing formalities finalised 9 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding properties in Biddenham with a long lease are worth £227,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 invoiced every year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2094
With 73 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £10,500 and £12,000 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.