Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Castelnau:

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Top Five Questions relating to Castelnau leasehold conveyancing

I only have 62 years unexpired on my lease in Castelnau. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?

On the basis that you qualify, 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 magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to find the lessor. In some cases a specialist would be useful to try and locate and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Castelnau.

I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Castelnau which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Castelnau is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive 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 property 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 Castelnau 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 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've recently bought a leasehold house in Castelnau. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Castelnau from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Castelnau can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
  • Many freeholders or Management Companies in Castelnau levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Castelnau.
  • Some Castelnau leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and delays many a Castelnau conveyancing transaction. If a new share certificate is needed, do contact the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check via your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. It is therefore essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Castelnau. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

    if there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the price.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Castelnau residence is 19 Crisp Road in June 2009. Following a vesting order (Under section 26 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993) The tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold was £33,756,apportioned as to£12,285 for the lower at and £21,471for the upper fat. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 68.32 years.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Castelnau what are the most common lease defects?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Castelnau is not unique. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Virgin Money, and Aldermore all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.