Frequently asked questions relating to Belgravia leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years remaining on my flat in Belgravia. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. On the whole a specialist should be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Belgravia.
Back In 2008, I bought a leasehold house in Belgravia. Conveyancing and The Royal Bank of Scotland mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Belgravia who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Belgravia conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am looking at a two apartments in Belgravia which have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease shortens the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Belgravia. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. Strange as it may seem, 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 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).
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Belgravia from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Belgravia can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Belgravia state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such works. Where you dont have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer before hand.
After years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Belgravia. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Belgravia conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Belgravia premises is Flat 3 47 Cadogan Square in December 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable to the landord by the leaseholder for the lease extension was £732,935 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 13.33 years.