Questions and Answers: Cambridge leasehold conveyancing
I only have Seventy years left on my flat in Cambridge. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder 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 enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. On the whole a specialist may be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Cambridge.
Looking forward to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Cambridge. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Cambridge should include some of the following:
- How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in Cambridge.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you discharge 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 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.
I am looking at a two flats in Cambridge which have about fifty years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Cambridge is a wasting 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. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with less than 75 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 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 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 Cambridge 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 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 am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Cambridge where we see a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Cambridge 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 buyer 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 at the same time as 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 buyer.
I purchased a 2 bed flat in Cambridge, conveyancing was carried out 10 years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Comparable flats in Cambridge with an extended lease are worth £250,000. The ground rent is £45 invoiced annually. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2091
You have 68 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £11,400 and £13,200 plus professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be 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 based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.