Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Fortis Green:

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Fortis Green, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Recently asked questions relating to Fortis Green leasehold conveyancing

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Fortis Green. Conveyancing and Skipton Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Fortis Green who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Fortis Green conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, 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 couple of flats in Fortis Green both have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Fortis Green is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. For most buyers and banks, 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 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 Fortis Green 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Fortis Green. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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 busy estate agency in Fortis Green where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Fortis Green conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 buyer.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Fortis Green with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Fortis Green can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Fortis Green levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Fortis Green.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is a current dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Arranging a new share certificate can be a lengthy formality and delays many a Fortis Green conveyancing transaction. Where a reissued share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is less than 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • Following months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Fortis Green. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the LVT to decide the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Fortis Green property is 21 St Matthews Court Coppetts Road in February 2013. the applicant applied to the Tribunal for a determination of the premium payable for a lease extension pursuant to Section 48 of the Leasehold Reform (Housing and Urban Development ) Act 1993. The tribunal therefore ordered that the premium was to be £13,267. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 68 years.