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Cann Hall leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I only have 62 years remaining on my lease in Cann Hall. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?

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 granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist would be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Cann Hall.

I have just appointed agents to market my garden flat in Cann Hall.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you pay 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am attracted to a two flats in Cann Hall which have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. should I be concerned?

There are plenty of short leases in Cann Hall. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Cann Hall where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Cann Hall conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Cann Hall conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Cann Hall conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Cann Hall conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Cann Hall in the last year?

  • I am the leaseholder of a basement flat in Cann Hall. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the LVT to arrive at the price payable.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Cann Hall residence is 36 New Wanstead in August 2010. The Tribunal arrived at a valuation of the premium for the freehold of £22,359. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 73.92 years.