Top Five Questions relating to Histon leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my flat in Histon. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Histon.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Histon.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – 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.
I work for a reputable estate agent office in Histon where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Histon conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Histon 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 Histon conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three 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 might be helpful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Histon who can give a testimonial?
Are there frequently found deficiencies that you see in leases for Histon properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Histon is not unique. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may have 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. Birmingham Midshires, Virgin Money, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Histon - Sample of Questions you should ask before buying
Are there any major works in the near future that will likely add a premium to the maintenance charges?
You should be aware that where the lease has no more than 80 years it will affect the marketability of the apartment. Check with your bank that they are happy with remaining years on the lease. A short lease means that you will probably have to extend the lease at some point and you need to have some idea of how much this would cost. For most Histonlease extensions you will be be obliged to have been the owner of the residence for a couple of years before you are eligible to exercise a lease extension.
Who takes charge for maintaining and repairing the block?