Highnam leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I have recently realised that I have Fifty years remaining on my flat in Highnam. I am keen to extend my lease 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Highnam.
Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Highnam. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Highnam should include some of the following:
- Setting out your legal entitlements in relation to common areas in the block.For example, does the lease provide for a right of way over an accessway or hallways?
I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Highnam.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is discharge 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Highnam which have about forty five years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Highnam is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive 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 Highnam 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Highnam. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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 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 the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Highnam, conveyancing formalities finalised 7 years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Similar properties in Highnam with a long lease are worth £212,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2093
With only 72 years unexpired the likely cost is going to range between £12,400 and £14,200 plus professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.