Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Finsbury:

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Top Five Questions relating to Finsbury leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Finsbury. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Finsbury - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.

There are only Seventy years remaining on my flat in Finsbury. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. On the whole a specialist should be useful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Finsbury.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Finsbury.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I've recently bought a leasehold property in Finsbury. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

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. It is an essential part 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).

After years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Finsbury. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

Where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the price.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Finsbury premises is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 66.8 years.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Finsbury what are the most frequent lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Finsbury. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations 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 will 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, Leeds Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express requirements 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, obliging the buyer to pull out.