Loxford leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Loxford which have in the region of fifty years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Loxford is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with less than 75 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 property 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 Loxford 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 the agreed 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 flat in Loxford. Am I liable to pay 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. It is an essential part 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 work for a reputable estate agency in Loxford where we see a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Loxford conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as 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 buyer can avoid having 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 sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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 purchaser.
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Loxford from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Loxford can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
- The majority landlords or Management Companies in Loxford charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Loxford.
Completion in due on our sale of a £200000 apartment in Loxford in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £396 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Loxford?
Loxford conveyancing on leasehold apartments often requires the purchaser’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions the majority will be content to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
Following years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Loxford. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Loxford conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Loxford flat is 9 Granville Road in June 2014. The tribunal determines the enfranchisement price payable by the applicants for the freehold was £32,548 This case was in relation to 5 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 73.8 years.