Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Cowley

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Frequently asked questions relating to Cowley leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my ground floor flat in Cowley.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you discharge the service charge 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I own a leasehold flat in Cowley. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Cowley who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Cowley conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Cowley which have about 50 years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Cowley is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat 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 property 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 Cowley 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 the agreed 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 a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Cowley where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Cowley conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having 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 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.

My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Cowley. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Cowley conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Cowley property is 164 Nestles Avenue in October 2013. The tribunal agreed with the proposed price of £20,158 for the freehold and determined that that sum is the amount to be paid into court This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 69 years.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Cowley what are the most common lease defects?

Leasehold conveyancing in Cowley is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. 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.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

You may encounter 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. Santander, The Mortgage Works, and Aldermore 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 buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Cowley