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Recently asked questions relating to Hampden Pk leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I may need to let out our Hampden Pk ground floor flat for a while due to a career opportunity. We instructed a Hampden Pk conveyancing practice in 2004 but they have since shut and we did not have the foresight to get any guidance as to whether the lease prohibits the subletting of the flat. How do we find out?

A lease governs relations between the freeholder and you the flat owner; specifically, it will say if subletting is not allowed, or permitted but only subject to certain conditions. The accepted inference is that if the lease contains no specific ban or restriction, subletting is permitted. The majority of leases in Hampden Pk do not prevent subletting altogether – such a clause would undoubtedly devalue the flat. In most cases there is a basic requirement that the owner notifies the freeholder, possibly sending a duplicate of the sublease.

I have recently realised that I have 68 years left on my flat in Hampden Pk. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

If 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 granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Hampden Pk.

I am looking at a two maisonettes in Hampden Pk which have about forty five years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Hampden Pk is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 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 premises 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 Hampden Pk 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Hampden Pk from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Hampden Pk can be reduced if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • Some Hampden Pk leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be concerned about purchasing a property where there is a current dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a Hampden Pk conveyancing transaction. If a duplicate share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Are there frequently found defects that you see in leases for Hampden Pk properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Hampden Pk. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
    • 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 will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , The Mortgage Works, and Britannia all have express requirements 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 withdraw.

    I own a studio flat in Hampden Pk, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Hampden Pk with a long lease are worth £201,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced every year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2085

    With only 65 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £14,300 and £16,400 plus legals.

    The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hampden Pk