Common questions relating to Blackfriars leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Blackfriars. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Blackfriars ?
Most houses in Blackfriars are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Blackfriars in which case you should be shopping around for a Blackfriars conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder 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’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold flat in Blackfriars. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Blackfriars who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First contact the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Blackfriars conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note 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 tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Blackfriars both have in the region of fifty years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Blackfriars is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 a residence 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 Blackfriars conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Blackfriars conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Blackfriars conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Blackfriars conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Blackfriars in the last 12 months?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Blackfriars from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Blackfriars can be reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Blackfriars leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you dont have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Blackfriars. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
if there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Blackfriars premises is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 66.8 years.