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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Maida Vale

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Maida Vale. Conveyancing and Nottingham Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Maida Vale who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Maida Vale conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I work for a busy estate agency in Maida Vale where we have experienced a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Maida Vale conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Maida Vale conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Maida Vale conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Maida Vale conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?

  • We expect to complete the sale of our £200000 garden flat in Maida Vale next week. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Maida Vale?

    For most leasehold sales in Maida Vale conveyancing will involve, queries regarding 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 Maida Vale
    • 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 Maida Vale leasehold property is £350. For Maida Vale 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 obliged to provide answers.

    I am the registered owner of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Maida Vale. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for a lease extension?

    in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Maida Vale property is 4 & 4A Charteris Road in June 2009. the Tribunal held that the price to be paid for the enfranchisement of 4/4a Charteris Road to be £15,510 for at 4and £15,694 for at 4a This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 70.02 years.

    What are the common problems that you encounter in leases for Maida Vale properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Maida Vale is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You will have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Chelsea Building Society, and Aldermore all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Maida Vale