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Frequently asked questions relating to Hedon leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Fifty years remaining on my lease in Hedon. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to conduct investigations 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 property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Hedon.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Hedon which 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 Hedon is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. 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 Hedon 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 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 property in Hedon. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation 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 a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Hedon where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Hedon conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Hedon conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hedon conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Hedon conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions have they completed in Hedon in the last year?

  • Hedon Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before buying

      Does this lease have more than 82 years unexpired? What restrictions exist in the Hedon Lease? How many of the leaseholders are in arrears for their service charge payments?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hedon