Questions and Answers: Huntingdon leasehold conveyancing
I only have 62 years remaining on my lease in Huntingdon. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. 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 submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent may be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Huntingdon.
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Huntingdon.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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 management companies 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 hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Huntingdon. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Huntingdon are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Huntingdon so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Huntingdon conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Huntingdon where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Huntingdon conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. 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.
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 buyer.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Huntingdon conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Huntingdon conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Huntingdon conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Huntingdon who can give a testimonial?
Huntingdon Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Queries Prior to buying
Can you tell me if there are any major works in the near future that will add a premium to the maintenance costs?
It is important to be aware if fixing the lift or some other significant cost is due shortly to be shared amongst the tenants and could well dramatically increase the the service costs or require a specific invoice.
You should want to find out as much as you can concerning the company managing the building as they will either make living at the property much simpler or uncomfortable. As the owner of a leasehold property you are frequently in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to practical issues like the upkeep of the common parts. Ask prospective neighbours whether they are happy with them. On a final note, investigate as to the dates that the maintenance fees are due to the managing agents and specifically what you get for your money.