Top Five Questions relating to City Of London leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in City Of London. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.
Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in City Of London - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.
I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in City Of London.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
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 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.
I am looking at a two flats in City Of London both have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in City Of London is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty 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 property 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 property 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 City Of London 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.
I work for a long established estate agent office in City Of London where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local City Of London conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means 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 needs to be completed 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 buyer.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a City Of London conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a City Of London 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 several firms including non City Of London conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in City Of London in the last year?
I am the registered owner of a 1 bedroom flat in City Of London, conveyancing was carried out in 2004. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Comparable flats in City Of London with an extended lease are worth £170,000. The ground rent is £50 charged once a year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2076
You have 56 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £26,600 and £30,800 as well as 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 comprehensive investigations. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.