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Hampstead leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have recently realised that I have Fifty years remaining on my lease in Hampstead. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. On the whole a specialist may be useful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Hampstead.

Expecting to exchange soon on a leasehold property in Hampstead. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Are pets allowed in the flat?
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Repair and maintenance of the flat
  • Changes to the flat (alterations and additions)
  • Responsibility for repairing the window frames
  • What the implications are if you breach a clause of your lease? For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Hampstead please enquire of your solicitor in advance of your conveyancing in Hampstead

  • I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Hampstead.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – what should I do?

    It best that you pay 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 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

    I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Hampstead where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Hampstead conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    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 need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

    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 buyer.

    I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such issues? Can you recommend a Hampstead conveyancing firm to represent me?

    if there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to arrive at the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Hampstead 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 was in relation to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 16.83 and 16.43.

    What makes a Hampstead lease unacceptable for security purposes?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hampstead