Recently asked questions relating to Kemp Town leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Kemp Town.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is pay 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Kemp Town. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Kemp Town who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Kemp Town conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am attracted to a couple of flats in Kemp Town which have approximately forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Kemp Town is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under 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 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 Kemp Town 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.
I work for a reputable estate agency in Kemp Town where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Kemp Town conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer 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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Kemp Town conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Kemp Town conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Kemp Town conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I acquired a 1st floor flat in Kemp Town, conveyancing having been completed 2009. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Equivalent flats in Kemp Town with a long lease are worth £243,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £65 yearly. The lease finishes on 21st October 2072
You have 51 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £37,100 and £42,800 plus professional fees.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.