Ickenham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Ickenham. Before diving in I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Ickenham - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Ickenham both have in the region of forty five years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Ickenham is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the property. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. 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 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 Ickenham 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Ickenham. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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 agency in Ickenham where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Ickenham conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that 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 need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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.
We expect to complete our sale of a £475000 flat in Ickenham in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £420 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Ickenham?
Ickenham conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually requires the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled levy a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Ickenham conveyancing firm to help?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Ickenham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Ickenham residence is Flat 72 Queens Walk in January 2013. The Tribunals calculated the premium payable to be £22,090. This case related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 53.26 years.