Sample questions relating to Brent Cross leasehold conveyancing
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden apartment in Brent Cross.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Brent Cross both have about fifty years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Brent Cross is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 property 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 premises 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 Brent Cross conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed 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.
I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Brent Cross where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Brent Cross conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Brent Cross conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Brent Cross conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Brent Cross conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
All being well we will complete the disposal of our £350000 apartment in Brent Cross in 10 days. The freeholder has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Brent Cross?
Brent Cross conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not requires the buyer’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions most will be willing to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Brent Cross. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to make a decision on the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Brent Cross property is First Floor Flat 61 Wilberforce Road in March 2014. The premium payable was £10,130 and the case was remitted back to the Willesden County Court to effect the Vesting Order (Claim No 3W103100). This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 71 years.