Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Buckhurst Hill:

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Recently asked questions relating to Buckhurst Hill leasehold conveyancing

I only have Seventy years left on my lease in Buckhurst Hill. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, 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 enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. On the whole a specialist should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Buckhurst Hill.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Buckhurst Hill.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a quarterly service charge invoice – what should I do?

It best that you clear the invoice 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Buckhurst Hill. Conveyancing and Leeds Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Buckhurst Hill who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Buckhurst Hill conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Buckhurst Hill both have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Buckhurst Hill is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. 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 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 Buckhurst Hill 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Buckhurst Hill where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Buckhurst Hill conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

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. This means that the proposed purchaser 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 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.

Having spent months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Buckhurst Hill. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Buckhurst Hill conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Buckhurst Hill residence is 201 & 201a St. Barnabas Road in October 2013. The Tribunal decided that the price to be paid by the Applicants for the freehold interest is £20,071. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 69.26 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Buckhurst Hill