Chelmsford leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries
I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years unexpired on my lease in Chelmsford. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?
If 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Chelmsford.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Chelmsford. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Chelmsford who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Chelmsford conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured 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've recently bought a leasehold property in Chelmsford. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. A critical element 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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Chelmsford where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Chelmsford conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. 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 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Chelmsford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Chelmsford conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Chelmsford conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Chelmsford Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
Is there a share of the freehold?
How much is the ground rent and service charge?
It is important to be aware if a new roof is being installed or some other major work is pending to be shared between the tenants and will dramatically increase the the service costs or result in a specific payment.