Questions and Answers: Ferndown leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Ferndown. Before I get started I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Ferndown - 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 recently realised that I have Seventy years left on my lease in Ferndown. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. On the whole a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Ferndown.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Ferndown which have about forty five years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Ferndown is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with under 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 a residence 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 Ferndown conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Ferndown. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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. 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).
I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Ferndown where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Ferndown conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 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 disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.
Ferndown Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should ask before buying
How is the lease structured?
The best form of lease structure is a share of the freehold. In this arrangement the leaseholders enjoy being in charge if their destiny and although a managing agent is often retained if the building is bigger than a house conversion, the managing agent retained by the leaseholders.
It is important to be aware whether a new roof is being put on or some other significant cost is due shortly to be shared by the leasehold owners and may well materially increase the the service costs or require a one time payment.