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Common questions relating to Collier Row leasehold conveyancing

There are only Seventy years left on my flat in Collier Row. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Collier Row.

Expecting to exchange soon on a ground floor flat in Collier Row. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they will have a report out to me on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Collier Row should include some of the following:

  • The physical extent of the premises. This will be the property itself but could also include a roof space or cellar if appropriate.
  • Does the lease prohibit wood flooring?
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • The landlord’s rights to access the flat you be made aware that your landlord has rights of access and I know how much notice s/he must provide.
  • What you can do if a neighbour breach a clause of their lease? For a comprehensive list of information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Collier Row please enquire of your conveyancer in advance of your conveyancing in Collier Row

  • I have just started marketing my 2 bed apartment in Collier Row.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

    It best that you 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 am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Collier Row where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Collier Row conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

    An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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 buyer.

    Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Collier Row from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Collier Row can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • Many landlords or Management Companies in Collier Row levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Collier Row.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Collier Row state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the approvals to hand do not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor first.
  • A minority of Collier Row leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share certificate. Obtaining a replacement share certificate can be a time consuming process and frustrates many a Collier Row home move. Where a duplicate share is necessary, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Collier Row conveyancing firm to represent me?

    Where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Collier Row flat is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 57.5 years.