Greenford leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Greenford. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Greenford - 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.
I have recently realised that I have 62 years left on my lease in Greenford. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What should I do?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application 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 Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. On the whole a specialist would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Greenford.
I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in Greenford.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you discharge the service charge 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 until 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 looking at a couple of maisonettes in Greenford which have about 50 years remaining on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Greenford is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 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 Greenford 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Greenford conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Greenford conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Greenford 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 why not?
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Greenford. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Greenford conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a lease Extension decision for a Greenford property is 25 Beechwood Avenue in November 2012. the Tribunal accordingly determined that the premium for the lease extension should be £24,353. This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 58.19 years.