Sample questions relating to Handforth leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years unexpired on my flat in Handforth. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Handforth.
I own a leasehold house in Handforth. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing solicitor in Handforth who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Handforth conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Handforth both have in the region of 50 years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Handforth is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 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 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 Handforth 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Handforth. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. However, 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 Handforth where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Handforth conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have 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 prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
I own a studio flat in Handforth, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Corresponding flats in Handforth with a long lease are worth £205,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease runs out on 21st October 2073
With 52 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to span between £33,300 and £38,400 plus legals.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to advice on a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.