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Questions and Answers: Ickenham leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Ickenham. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% 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 have recently realised that I have 72 years unexpired on my flat in Ickenham. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, 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 lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Ickenham.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Ickenham. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Ickenham who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Ickenham conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Ickenham both have in the region of forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are plenty of short leases in Ickenham. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Ickenham. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?

Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 have given up trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Ickenham. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Ickenham residence is Flat 72 Queens Walk in January 2013. The Tribunals calculated the premium payable to be £22,090. This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 53.26 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Ickenham