Frequently asked questions relating to Golders Green leasehold conveyancing
Expecting to sign contracts shortly on a studio apartment in Golders Green. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Golders Green should include some of the following:
- The physical extent of the property. This will be the property itself but could also incorporate a loft or cellar if applicable.
I have just appointed agents to market my garden flat in Golders Green.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 management companies 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 am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Golders Green both have approximately 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Golders Green is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. For most 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 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 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 Golders Green 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.
I work for a busy estate agency in Golders Green where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Golders Green conveyancing firms. Can you confirm 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 commence 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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Golders Green conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Golders Green conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Golders Green conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
I own a two-bedroom flat in Golders Green. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for a lease extension?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Golders Green conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Golders Green residence is Flat A 372 Cricklewood Lane in January 2013. The Tribunal decided that the premium for the extended lease should be £5,750.00 and that the terms of the new lease should be those set out in annex to the decsion This case affected 1 flat.