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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Falconwood

I am attracted to a two apartments in Falconwood both have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As a lease shortens the marketability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Falconwood. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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 agency in Falconwood where we have experienced a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Falconwood conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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 for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as 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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Falconwood conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Falconwood conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Falconwood conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Falconwood who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Falconwood from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Falconwood can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Falconwood leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such alterations. Should you fail to have the consents in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic rather than unsettled.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Obtaining a duplicate share certificate can be a time consuming formality and slows down many a Falconwood conveyancing deal. Where a reissued share certificate is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • We have reached the end of our tether in seeking a lease extension in Falconwood. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    if there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Falconwood residence 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 affected 1 flat.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Falconwood