Questions and Answers: Enfield Lock leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have 62 years left on my flat in Enfield Lock. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Enfield Lock.
I am looking at a couple of flats in Enfield Lock which have approximately 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Enfield Lock. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
I work for a busy estate agent office in Enfield Lock where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Enfield Lock conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer 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 has to be done 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 to extend my lease without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such issues? Can you recommend a Enfield Lock conveyancing firm to assist?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to judgment on the amount due.
An example of a Vesting Order and Purchase of freehold case 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 remaining number of years on the lease was 80.01 years.
What makes a Enfield Lock lease unmortgageable?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Enfield Lock. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Bank of Scotland, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.