Common questions relating to Hatch End leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years left on my lease in Hatch End. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
On the basis that 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Hatch End.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Hatch End. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Hatch End ?
The majority of houses in Hatch End are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Hatch End in which case you should be shopping around for a Hatch End conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should report to you on the legal implications.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Hatch End. Conveyancing and TSB mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Hatch End who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Hatch End conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am attracted to a couple of flats in Hatch End which have in the region of forty five years remaining on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Hatch End is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. For most buyers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat 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 Hatch End 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 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 long established estate agency in Hatch End where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Hatch End conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to 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 wait 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 disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Hatch End. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Hatch End conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Hatch End premises is Flats 8, 11 and 15 Craigmore Court 46 Murray Road in December 2013. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 8 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,438 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenants of Flat 11 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,791 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee. The tribunal held that the price payable by the Applicant tenant of Flat 15 to acquire an extended lease shall be £26,638 plus £1 to the intermediate lessee . This case related to 3 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 71 years.