Frequently asked questions relating to Covent Garden leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years left on my flat in Covent Garden. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
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 extended by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. 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 covering Covent Garden.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Covent Garden.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I've found a house that seems to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Covent Garden. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Covent Garden are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Covent Garden so you should seriously consider looking for a Covent Garden conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Covent Garden from the point of view of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Covent Garden can be reduced where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Covent Garden leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. If you dont have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your solicitor before hand.
I inherited a ground-floor 1960’s flat in Covent Garden. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the price.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Covent Garden residence is 20 Avonwick Road in July 2013. The Tribunal was dealing with an application under Section 26 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 for a determination of the freehold value of the property. It was concluded that the price to be paid was Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy (£15,970) divided as to £8,200 for Flat 20 and £7,770 for Flat 20A This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 73.26 years.
What makes a Covent Garden lease defective?
Leasehold conveyancing in Covent Garden is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, Virgin Money, and Barclays Direct all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.