Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Enfield Lock:

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Top Five Questions relating to Enfield Lock leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Enfield Lock. Conveyancing and Barnsley Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Enfield Lock who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Enfield Lock conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a two flats in Enfield Lock which have in the region of 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Enfield Lock is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 premises 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 Enfield Lock 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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 employed by a busy estate agency in Enfield Lock where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Enfield Lock conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate 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 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 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 at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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 purchaser.

Completion in due on the disposal of our £500000 flat in Enfield Lock next week. The managing agents has quoted £336 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Enfield Lock?

Enfield Lock conveyancing on leasehold flats normally requires the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable administration fee for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.

Notwithstanding our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Enfield Lock. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the price.

An example of a Vesting Order and Purchase of freehold decision for a Enfield Lock property 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 term as at the valuation date was 80.01 years.

What makes a Enfield Lock lease unmortgageable?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Enfield Lock. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Coventry Building Society, and Alliance & Leicester all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.