Frequently asked questions relating to Clerkenwell leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Clerkenwell - 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 flat in Clerkenwell. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder 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 submit an application to the County Court for an order 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 have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Clerkenwell.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Clerkenwell. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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).
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Clerkenwell conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Clerkenwell conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Clerkenwell conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I am the proprietor of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Clerkenwell. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for a lease extension?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Clerkenwell flat is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 66.8 years.
What makes a Clerkenwell lease unmortgageable?
Leasehold conveyancing in Clerkenwell is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. 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 premises
- A duty to insure the building
- 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
You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Bank of Scotland, and Britannia all have very detailed 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, forcing the purchaser to pull out.