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Questions and Answers: Enfield Lock leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Enfield Lock. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Enfield Lock - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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.

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years remaining on my lease in Enfield Lock. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?

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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. For most situations a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Enfield Lock.

I am employed by a long established estate agency in Enfield Lock where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Enfield Lock conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed 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.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Enfield Lock conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Enfield Lock conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Enfield Lock conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Enfield Lock who can give a testimonial?

  • I am the proprietor of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Enfield Lock. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?

    in cases where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the price.

    An example of a Vesting Order and Purchase of freehold decision for a Enfield Lock premises is Ground Floor Flat 4A Baronet Road in February 2010. Following a vesting order by Edmonton County Court on 23rd December 2008 (case number 8ED064) the Tribunal decided that the price that the Applicant for the freehold interest should pay is £8,689.00 This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 80.01 years.

    In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Enfield Lock what are the most common lease defects?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Enfield Lock. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • 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

    A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Barnsley Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express requirements 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, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.