Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Frognal:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Frognal leasehold conveyancing

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Frognal. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Frognal ?

Most houses in Frognal are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Frognal so you should seriously consider looking for a Frognal conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Frognal. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Frognal who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Frognal conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Frognal both have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Frognal is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the value of the property. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 property 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 Frognal 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed 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.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Frognal where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Frognal conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 can avoid having 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 prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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.

I am the proprietor of a basement flat in Frognal. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?

in cases where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the amount due.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Frognal residence is Raised Ground Floor Flat 20 Fitzjohns Avenue in July 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premiums to be paid for new leases in respect of the Raised Ground Floor Flat and the First Floor Flat were to be calculated as: Raised Ground Floor: £765,175.14 First Floor: £601,617.77 This case affected 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 16.83 and 16.43.

What are the frequently found defects that you witness in leases for Frognal properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Frognal is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • 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 as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Coventry Building Society, and Britannia all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.