Eltham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Eltham. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Eltham - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I have recently realised that I have Fifty years unexpired on my lease in Eltham. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
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 mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Eltham.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Eltham.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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 managing agents 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 am attracted to a two maisonettes in Eltham which have about fifty years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Eltham 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 value of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under 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 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 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 Eltham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend 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 a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Eltham where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Eltham conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. This means 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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Eltham conveyancing firm to represent me?
in cases where there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute 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 make a decision on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Eltham property is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case related to 1 flat.