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Sample questions relating to Hendon leasehold conveyancing

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my basement apartment in Hendon.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – Do I pay up?

It best that you 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 managing agents 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.

Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold house in Hendon. Conveyancing and Leeds Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Hendon who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Hendon conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a couple of apartments in Hendon both have about 50 years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Hendon is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the property. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 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 Hendon 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.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Hendon conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Hendon conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Hendon conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Hendon in the last year?

  • We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Hendon. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Hendon residence is First Floor Flat 61 Wilberforce Road in March 2014. The premium payable was £10,130 and the case was remitted back to the Willesden County Court to effect the Vesting Order (Claim No 3W103100). This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 71 years.

    What are the common deficiencies that you see in leases for Hendon properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Hendon is not unique. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
    • 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 could have 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. Lloyds TSB Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Hendon