Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Manor House:

Any conveyancing solicitor can theoretically handle your leasehold conveyancing in Manor House, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Manor House leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years left on my lease in Manor House. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?

On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. In some cases a specialist would be useful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Manor House.

I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Manor House.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you pay the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Manor House where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Manor House conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?

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 sit tight for 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 disposal of the property.

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 Manor House with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Manor House can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Manor House charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Manor House.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Manor House leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Should you dont have the approvals in place do not communicate with the landlord without checking with your solicitor in advance.
  • Some Manor House leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have had any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unsettled.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Manor House conveyancing firm to assist?

    Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Manor House conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Manor House flat is 51 Lorne Road in November 2009. The price Payable as decided by the tribunal for the freehold reversion was £27,000. The valuation follows the order of the County Court made on 3 April 2008 granting a vesting order. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 71 years.

    What makes a Manor House lease problematic?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Manor House is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.