Top Five Questions relating to Lanchester leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have 62 years remaining on my flat in Lanchester. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, 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 extended by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. On the whole a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Lanchester.
I have just appointed agents to market my garden apartment in Lanchester.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am looking at a couple of flats in Lanchester which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Lanchester is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive 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 premises 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 Lanchester 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've recently bought a leasehold house in Lanchester. 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 lessee 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. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Lanchester conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Lanchester conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Lanchester 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:
- How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I am the registered owner of a 1 bedroom flat in Lanchester, conveyancing having been completed 3 years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Comparable flats in Lanchester with over 90 years remaining are worth £247,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 invoiced annually. The lease finishes on 21st October 2090
With just 68 years remaining on your lease we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as legals.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to 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.