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Sample questions relating to Cotham leasehold conveyancing

I only have Fifty years left on my lease in Cotham. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. 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 magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord 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 Cotham.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Cotham.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you pay 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Cotham. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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 be sure 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).

All being well we will complete the disposal of our £225000 maisonette in Cotham next week. The management company has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Cotham?

Cotham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries most will be content to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is above £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

What are the common problems that you witness in leases for Cotham properties?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Cotham. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • 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 primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Chelsea Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

I acquired a 2 bed flat in Cotham, conveyancing was carried out 6 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Cotham with a long lease are worth £215,000. The ground rent is £65 levied per year. The lease ends on 21st October 2092

You have 69 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £14,300 and £16,400 plus costs.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Cotham