Questions and Answers: Brampton leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have 72 years left on my flat in Brampton. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. In some cases a specialist would be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Brampton.
I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Brampton.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Brampton. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. 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 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 busy estate agency in Brampton where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Brampton conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done 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 purchaser.
What makes a Brampton lease unacceptable for security purposes?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Brampton. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Birmingham Midshires, Barnsley Building Society, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.
I am the registered owner of a basement flat in Brampton, conveyancing was carried out 2008. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Brampton with over 90 years remaining are worth £180,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced every year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2077
With just 55 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £30,400 and £35,200 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.