Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Fortis Green

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Common questions relating to Fortis Green leasehold conveyancing

I only have 68 years left on my lease in Fortis Green. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the landlord. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Fortis Green.

I have just started marketing my garden flat in Fortis Green.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you discharge 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Fortis Green. Am I liable to pay 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. 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).

What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Fortis Green conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Fortis Green conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Fortis Green 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 of use:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • How many lease extensions have they completed in Fortis Green in the last 12 months?

  • Can you provide any advice 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 reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Fortis Green state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer first.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing 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 are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unresolved.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Fortis Green home move. Where a new share is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but you should verify this by asking your conveyancers. A purchaser's conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you consider whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I inherited a two-bedroom flat in Fortis Green. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?

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

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Fortis Green residence 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 related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 68 years.