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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Heston

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my lease in Heston. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

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 granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. In some cases a specialist would be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Heston.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Heston which have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Heston is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty 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 premises 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 Heston 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agency in Heston where we have experienced a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Heston conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-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 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 at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Heston with the aim of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Heston can be avoided where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
  • The majority landlords or managing agents in Heston levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Heston.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Heston leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Should you fail to have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should ensure that you hold the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate is often a lengthy formality and slows down many a Heston home move. If a new share is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £250000 maisonette in Heston in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £384 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Heston?

    Heston conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually requires the purchaser’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries most will be content to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

    I am the proprietor of a second floor flat in Heston. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Heston conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Heston premises is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 60.45 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Heston