Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Blackfriars:

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Common questions relating to Blackfriars leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years unexpired on my lease in Blackfriars. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. For most situations a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Blackfriars.

I own a leasehold flat in Blackfriars. Conveyancing and TSB 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 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Blackfriars who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Blackfriars conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I work for a reputable estate agent office in Blackfriars where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Blackfriars conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

All being well we will complete the sale of our £200000 flat in Blackfriars on Wednesday in a week. The management company has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Blackfriars?

Blackfriars conveyancing on leasehold flats ordinarily results in administration charges invoiced by freeholders :

  • Completing pre-exchange enquiries
  • Where consent is required before sale in Blackfriars
  • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
  • Deeds of covenant upon sale
  • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Blackfriars leasehold premises is £350. For Blackfriars conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide answers.

I am the registered owner of a second floor flat in Blackfriars. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for a lease extension?

Where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension case 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 affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 66.8 years.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Blackfriars what are the most frequent lease defects?

Leasehold conveyancing in Blackfriars is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Blackfriars