Common questions relating to Chinatown leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown. Before I get started I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Chinatown - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years left on my lease in Chinatown. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?
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 demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Chinatown.
I am attracted to a two apartments in Chinatown both have about forty five years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Chinatown is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with less than eighty 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 premises 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 Chinatown 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Chinatown conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Chinatown conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Chinatown 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 helpful:
- What volume of lease extensions have they conducted in Chinatown in the last year?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown with the purpose of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown can be reduced if you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
- Many landlords or managing agents in Chinatown charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown.
Following months of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Chinatown. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to make a decision on the amount due.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Chinatown flat 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 unexpired term was 73.92 years.