Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Cockfosters:

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Sample questions relating to Cockfosters leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Cockfosters. Before diving in 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 Cockfosters - 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.

I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Cockfosters.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Cockfosters. 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. 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 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 reputable estate agent office in Cockfosters where we see a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Cockfosters conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Cockfosters from the point of view of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Cockfosters can be bypassed if you appoint 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.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Cockfosters state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you dont have the consents to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
  • Some Cockfosters leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The 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 purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Obtaining a re-issued share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Cockfosters home move. Where a duplicate share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage 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.

  • After years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Cockfosters. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Cockfosters conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Cockfosters residence is 23 Beaconsfield Road in July 2013. The Tribunals decided that the amount payable was £31,203 for the freehold. This case affected 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 70.31 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Cockfosters