Frequently asked questions relating to Histon leasehold conveyancing
There are only Fifty years remaining on my lease in Histon. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?
On the basis that 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 enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Histon.
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Histon where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Histon conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 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 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Histon conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Histon conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Histon conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £175000 maisonette in Histon next Wednesday . The landlords agents has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Histon?
Histon conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not requires the purchaser’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge required by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
What are the common problems that you come across in leases for Histon properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Histon is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Virgin Money, and Alliance & Leicester all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.
I bought a 1st floor flat in Histon, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Comparable flats in Histon with an extended lease are worth £217,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2082
With 59 years unexpired the likely cost is going to be between £23,800 and £27,400 plus legals.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.