Questions and Answers: Hanwell leasehold conveyancing
I only have Seventy years unexpired on my lease in Hanwell. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Hanwell.
Due to sign contracts shortly on a ground floor flat in Hanwell. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they report fully tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Hanwell should include some of the following:
- You should be sent a copy of the lease
I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Hanwell.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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 hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Hanwell. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Hanwell are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Hanwell so you should seriously consider looking for a Hanwell conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Hanwell which have approximately 50 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 Hanwell is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, 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 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 Hanwell 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.
I inherited a basement flat in Hanwell. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for a lease extension?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Hanwell conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Hanwell premises is 6 Jessamine Road in August 2013. The Tribunals valuation (as annexed to the decision) calculated the amount payable as £18,355 for the freehold reversion This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 72.39 years.