Frequently asked questions relating to Canonbury leasehold conveyancing
There are only Fifty years remaining on my flat in Canonbury. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
If 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Canonbury.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Canonbury. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, 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 Canonbury where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Canonbury conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
If all goes to plan we aim to complete our sale of a £125000 apartment in Canonbury next Tuesday . The freeholder has quoted £372 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Canonbury?
Canonbury conveyancing on leasehold flats normally necessitates fees being invoiced by management companies :
- Completing conveyancing due diligence questions
- Where consent is required before sale in Canonbury
- Supplying insurance information
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Having spent months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Canonbury. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Canonbury conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Canonbury residence is 5C Stoke Newington Road in April 2010. the Tribunal therefore concludes that the premium to be paid for the extended lease is £700.00 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 80.5 years.
Are there common defects that you witness in leases for Canonbury properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in Canonbury is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are not included. 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.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Bank of Scotland, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.