Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Downend:

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Questions and Answers: Downend leasehold conveyancing

I wish to let out my leasehold apartment in Downend. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

A small minority of properties in Downend do contain a provision to say that subletting is only permitted with prior consent from the landlord. The landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold but, in such cases, they would need to review references. Experience suggests that problems are usually caused by unsatisfactory tenants rather than owner-occupiers and for that reason you can expect the freeholder to take up the references and consider them carefully before granting consent.

I only have 62 years unexpired on my lease in Downend. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply 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 Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Downend.

Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold flat in Downend. Conveyancing and The Royal Bank of Scotland mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Downend who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Downend conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am looking at a couple of flats in Downend both have approximately 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Downend is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most buyers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive 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 Downend 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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.

What makes a Downend lease unmortgageable?

Leasehold conveyancing in Downend is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Leeds Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed requirements 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 grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Downend, conveyancing was carried out in 2003. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Similar flats in Downend with over 90 years remaining are worth £193,000. The ground rent is £55 per annum. The lease terminates on 21st October 2084

With just 62 years unexpired the likely cost is going to be between £20,900 and £24,200 as well as costs.

The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Downend