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Questions and Answers: Belsize Park leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Belsize Park. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Belsize Park - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years left on my lease in Belsize Park. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?

If 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 enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. On the whole a specialist should be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Belsize Park.

I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Belsize Park. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Belsize Park are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Belsize Park in which case you should be shopping around for a Belsize Park conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Belsize Park. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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 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).

All being well we will complete the sale of our £475000 garden flat in Belsize Park on Thursday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £336 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Belsize Park?

Belsize Park conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes often requires the buyer’s solicitor sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries most will be content to assist. They may invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Belsize Park conveyancing firm to help?

You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Belsize Park conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Belsize Park property is Raised Ground Floor Flat 20 Fitzjohns Avenue in July 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premiums to be paid for new leases in respect of the Raised Ground Floor Flat and the First Floor Flat were to be calculated as: Raised Ground Floor: £765,175.14 First Floor: £601,617.77 This case related to 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 16.83 and 16.43.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Belsize Park