Bickley leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
There are only Sixty One years left on my flat in Bickley. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order 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 prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the landlord. For most situations a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder 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 Bickley.
Due to exchange soon on a garden flat in Bickley. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they will have a report out to me next week. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Bickley should include some of the following:
- How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and informed of the importance of the 80 year mark
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Bickley. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Bickley are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Bickley so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Bickley conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant 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 alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Bickley. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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. 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).
I work for a long established estate agent office in Bickley where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Bickley conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 buyer.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can a leaseholder make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Bickley conveyancing firm to represent me?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the price.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Bickley property is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 50.57 years.