Common questions relating to Colliers Wood leasehold conveyancing
I only have 72 years remaining on my lease in Colliers Wood. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?
If 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 mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Colliers Wood.
I am looking at a two apartments in Colliers Wood which have about 50 years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Colliers Wood is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more positive 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 a residence 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 Colliers Wood 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new 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.
I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Colliers Wood where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Colliers Wood conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. 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 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 purchaser.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Colliers Wood conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Colliers Wood conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Colliers Wood conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Colliers Wood from the point of view of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Colliers Wood can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Colliers Wood leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord consenting to such works. Where you dont have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
We have reached the end of our tether in negotiating a lease extension in Colliers Wood. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
in cases where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, 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 matter before the tribunal for a Colliers Wood residence is 14 Nutwell Street in January 2014. The premium payable for the acquisition of a new lease of the subject premises was in the sum of £30,523 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 62.94 years.