Recently asked questions relating to Gerrards Cross leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Gerrards Cross. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Gerrards Cross who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
First contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Gerrards Cross conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am looking at a two apartments in Gerrards Cross both have approximately 50 years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Gerrards Cross is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat 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 Gerrards Cross 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 the agreed 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 house in Gerrards Cross. Am I liable to pay 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 finding a Gerrards Cross conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Gerrards Cross conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Gerrards Cross conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
All being well we will complete the disposal of our £200000 garden flat in Gerrards Cross in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Gerrards Cross?
Gerrards Cross conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions most will be willing to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I am the registered owner of a two-bedroom flat in Gerrards Cross. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for a lease extension?
in cases where there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Gerrards Cross flat is Flats 8, 11 and 15 Craigmore Court 46 Murray Road in December 2013. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 8 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,438 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenants of Flat 11 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,791 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 15 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,638 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . This case related to 3 flats. The unexpired lease term was 71 years.