Top Five Questions relating to Henbury leasehold conveyancing
There are only 68 years remaining on my flat in Henbury. I now want to get lease extension 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent may be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Henbury.
I’m about to sell my ground floor apartment in Henbury.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
It best that you pay the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Henbury. 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 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 ensure 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 long established estate agency in Henbury where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Henbury conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Henbury conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Henbury conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Henbury conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I purchased a 1st floor flat in Henbury, conveyancing was carried out 2010. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Corresponding properties in Henbury with a long lease are worth £230,000. The ground rent is £50 per annum. The lease finishes on 21st October 2095
With 74 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £10,500 and £12,000 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be additional concerns that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.