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Top Five Questions relating to Keston leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years left on my lease in Keston. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application 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 magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the landlord. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Keston.

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold flat in Keston. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Keston who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Keston conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am looking at a two apartments in Keston which have in the region of forty five years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Keston is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat 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 Keston conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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.

What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Keston conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Keston conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Keston conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Keston who can give a testimonial?

  • All being well we will complete the sale of our £200000 flat in Keston in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Keston?

    For most leasehold sales in Keston conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Addressing pre-contract enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Keston
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your solicitor will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Keston leasehold premises is £350. For Keston conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are required to supply answers.

    Having spent years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Keston. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to make a decision on the price payable.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Keston residence is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 50.57 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Keston