Lake District leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years left on my lease in Lake District. 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 submit an application 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 magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. On the whole a specialist should be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Lake District.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Lake District. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Lake District are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Lake District in which case you should be looking for a Lake District conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Lake District both have in the region of forty five years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?
A lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Lake District. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Lake District conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Lake District conveyancing practice) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Lake District conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
I purchased a 1st floor flat in Lake District, conveyancing formalities finalised in 1996. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Similar properties in Lake District with an extended lease are worth £194,000. The ground rent is £65 charged once a year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2093
You have 70 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £13,300 and £15,400 plus professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. 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 taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.