Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Herne Hill:

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Sample questions relating to Herne Hill leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years remaining on my flat in Herne Hill. I am keen to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply 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 magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent would be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Herne Hill.

I've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in Herne Hill. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Herne Hill are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Herne Hill so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Herne Hill conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.

I am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Herne Hill where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Herne Hill conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

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.

What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Herne Hill conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Herne Hill conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Herne Hill conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • How many lease extensions has the firm completed in Herne Hill in the last year?

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Herne Hill conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Where there is a absentee landlord or where 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 assess the amount due.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Herne Hill flat is 66 Southwell Road in March 2012. By Order of Deputy District Judge Stone dated 25 January 2012 a vesting order was made. The determination of the purchase price was referred to the Tribunal who decided that the amount payable for the freehold should be£29,612.00 This case was in relation to 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 72.58 years.

    When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Herne Hill what are the most frequent lease problems?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Herne Hill is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • 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

    A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Alliance & Leicester all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Herne Hill