Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Finchley

Leasehold conveyancing in Finchley is more complex than freehold. Your home move will be smoother where you choose a lawyer with a wealth of experience of leasehold conveyancing in Finchley and next step up in loc. The lawyers we recommend have been approved by your lender so use our search tool to check.

Frequently asked questions relating to Finchley leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Finchley. Conveyancing and Barclays mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Finchley who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Finchley conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Finchley both have in the region of 50 years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Finchley is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty 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 Finchley 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 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Finchley. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. 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 be sure 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 am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Finchley where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Finchley conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence 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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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 purchaser.

I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Finchley. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Finchley conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Finchley premises is Ground Floor 110 Station Road in June 2013. The Tribunal found that the premium payable for a lease extension should be £31,665. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 56.65 years.

What are the common defects that you see in leases for Finchley properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Finchley is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You may encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and Barclays Direct 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 grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Finchley