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Frequently asked questions relating to Filton leasehold conveyancing

I only have 68 years remaining on my lease in Filton. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?

On the basis that you qualify, 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 enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare 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 solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Filton.

I own a leasehold flat in Filton. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Filton who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Filton conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Filton which have approximately 50 years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Filton is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 Filton 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Filton. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. However, 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).

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Filton conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Filton 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 make enquires with several firms including non Filton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • Leasehold Conveyancing in Filton - Examples of Questions you should ask before Purchasing

      Please note if it is less than eighty years it will have adverse implications on the value of the flat. It is worth checking with your lender that they are willing to go ahead with the loan given the lease term. Leases with fewer than 80 years remaining means that you will most likely have to extend the lease sooner rather than later and it is worth discovering how much this would cost. For most Filtonlease extensions you would need to own the property for a couple of years in order to be eligible to extend the lease. How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments? This question is helpful as a) areas may cause problems for the building as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate if maintenance remain unpaid b) if the leaseholders have an issue with the running of the building you will want to know about it

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    Lease Extensions in Filton