Questions and Answers: Croydon leasehold conveyancing
I only have 62 years left on my lease in Croydon. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?
On the basis that 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. On the whole a specialist should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Croydon.
I am hoping to exchange soon on a ground floor flat in Croydon. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they will have a report out to me within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Croydon should include some of the following:
- You should be sent a copy of the lease
Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold flat in Croydon. Conveyancing and Birmingham Midshires mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Croydon who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Croydon conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Croydon where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Croydon conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 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 at the same time as 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Croydon conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Croydon conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Croydon conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How many lease extensions have they carried out in Croydon in the last year?
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Croydon conveyancing firm to represent me?
Where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Croydon premises is 29 Woodstock Road in April 2014. the Tribunal determined that the premiums to be paid into court in respect of the purchase of the freehold registered at HMLR under Title N0.SY3997 should be £7,217. This case was in relation to 4 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 98 years.