Common questions relating to High Wycombe leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years remaining on my lease in High Wycombe. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?
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. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. For most situations a specialist may be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering High Wycombe.
I’m about to sell my garden apartment in High Wycombe.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the service charge 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 unless 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.
Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold flat in High Wycombe. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in High Wycombe who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a High Wycombe conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. 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 looking at a couple of apartments in High Wycombe both have about fifty years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in High Wycombe is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most buyers and banks, leases with less than eighty 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 premises 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 High Wycombe 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in High Wycombe. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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 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 bought a studio flat in High Wycombe, conveyancing formalities finalised half a dozen years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Similar flats in High Wycombe with over 90 years remaining are worth £251,000. The ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease expires on 21st October 2093
You have 73 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £9,500 and £11,000 as well as legals.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed investigations. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.