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Fairwater leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I only have 72 years remaining on my lease in Fairwater. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What options are available to me?

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 mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the landlord. For most situations a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Fairwater.

I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in Fairwater.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

It best that you discharge the invoice 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 until 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.

I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Fairwater. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Fairwater are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Fairwater in which case you should be shopping around for a Fairwater conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Fairwater both have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

What are the common deficiencies that you see in leases for Fairwater properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Fairwater is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
  • A duty to insure the building
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

I purchased a ground floor flat in Fairwater, conveyancing having been completed 3 years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Similar flats in Fairwater with an extended lease are worth £192,000. The ground rent is £60 levied per year. The lease expires on 21st October 2084

With 63 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to span between £16,200 and £18,600 plus legals.

The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Fairwater