Common questions relating to Hastings leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have 62 years unexpired on my lease in Hastings. I now wish to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent should be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Hastings.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Hastings which have about 50 years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Hastings is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than 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 Hastings conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 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.
I work for a long established estate agent office in Hastings where we see a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Hastings conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 buyer.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Hastings conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Hastings conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Hastings conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
We expect to complete our sale of a £350000 maisonette in Hastings in 10 days. The landlords agents has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Hastings?
Hastings conveyancing on leasehold apartments often involves the purchaser’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They may charge a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.
I purchased a studio flat in Hastings, conveyancing was carried out 2000. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Equivalent properties in Hastings with over 90 years remaining are worth £262,000. The ground rent is £60 yearly. The lease terminates on 21st October 2085
With only 62 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £20,000 and £23,000 plus costs.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more detailed investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.