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Top Five Questions relating to Cottenham leasehold conveyancing

I only have Sixty One years remaining on my flat in Cottenham. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Cottenham.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Cottenham which have approximately forty five years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are plenty of short leases in Cottenham. The lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Cottenham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Cottenham conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Cottenham conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Cottenham conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions have they carried out in Cottenham in the last year?

  • Completion in due on our sale of a £125000 garden flat in Cottenham next Friday . The management company has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Cottenham?

    Cottenham conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not necessitates the buyer’s solicitor sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries the majority will be content to assist. They may levy a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it exceeds £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

    I acquired a leasehold flat in Cottenham, conveyancing having been completed 2000. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Corresponding properties in Cottenham with an extended lease are worth £225,000. The ground rent is £50 per annum. The lease terminates on 21st October 2087

    With just 67 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £13,300 and £15,400 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

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    Lease Extensions in Cottenham