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Frequently asked questions relating to Cubitt Town leasehold conveyancing

There are only Seventy years left on my flat in Cubitt Town. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder 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 extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. In some cases a specialist should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Cubitt Town.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Cubitt Town. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Cubitt Town who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Cubitt Town conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Cubitt Town which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Cubitt Town is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 property 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 Cubitt Town 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 reputable estate agent office in Cubitt Town where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Cubitt Town conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 kick-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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £375000 apartment in Cubitt Town in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Cubitt Town?

Cubitt Town conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally involves the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Cubitt Town conveyancing firm to help?

Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to determine the amount due.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Cubitt Town flat is 12, 14 & 16 Hull Close in May 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold to the subject premises was the sum of £18,300 This case was in relation to 3 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 101.61 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Cubitt Town