Top Five Questions relating to Mill Hill leasehold conveyancing
I am looking at a two apartments in Mill Hill both have about 50 years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Mill Hill is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 property 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 a residence 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 Mill Hill conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.
I work for a busy estate agent office in Mill Hill where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Mill Hill conveyancing solicitors. Please can 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Mill Hill conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Mill Hill conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Mill Hill conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
We expect to complete the sale of our £250000 apartment in Mill Hill next Wednesday . The freeholder has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Mill Hill?
Mill Hill conveyancing on leasehold apartments often involves the buyer’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be content to do so. They may charge 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 over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I am the registered owner of a ground flat in Mill Hill. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?
in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Mill Hill residence is Ground Floor Maisonette 17 Milton Road in January 2014. The Tribunal determined the premium payable by the Applicant to the should be £13,299 This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 71.73 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Mill Hill what are the most frequent lease defects?
Leasehold conveyancing in Mill Hill is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
- 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 will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Aldermore all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.