Top Five Questions relating to Hillingdon leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my lease in Hillingdon. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
If 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent would be useful to try and locate and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Hillingdon.
Expecting to complete next month on a leasehold property in Hillingdon. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Hillingdon should include some of the following:
- Defining your legal entitlements in relation to the communal areas in the block.E.G., does the lease include a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Hillingdon. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Hillingdon where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Hillingdon conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Hillingdon conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Hillingdon conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Hillingdon conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I am the proprietor of a ground flat in Hillingdon. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for a lease extension?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to assess the sum to be paid.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Hillingdon premises is 164 Nestles Avenue in October 2013. The tribunal agreed with the proposed price of £20,158 for the freehold and determined that that sum is the amount to be paid into court This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired term was 69 years.