Common questions relating to Mayfair leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Mayfair. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Mayfair - 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 only have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Mayfair. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent should be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Mayfair.
I’m about to sell my 2 bed flat in Mayfair.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
It best that you clear the invoice 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Mayfair. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner 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 am employed by a reputable estate agent office in Mayfair where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Mayfair conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence 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 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 has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.
I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Mayfair. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Mayfair conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Mayfair residence is Flat 1 3 Upper Belgrave Street in December 2010. The Tribunal determined that the price payablefor the Lease extension in respect of the subject premises was £2,202,007 This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 21 years.