Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Church End:

While any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in Church End, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Church End leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Church End. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Church End - 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.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Church End. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Church End who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Church End conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Church End which have approximately 50 years left on the leases. should I be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Church End is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, 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 Church End 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Church End. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. 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).

I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Church End where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Church End conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities 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 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 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.

I am the leaseholder of a second floor flat in Church End. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for a lease extension?

Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Church End conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Church End property is Flat 1 30 Ennismore Avenue in September 2010. the Tribunal adopted and arrived at a premium for the lease extension of £29, 900 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 68.34 years.