Recently asked questions relating to Mill Hill leasehold conveyancing
Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold flat in Mill Hill. Conveyancing and Accord Mortgages Ltd mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Mill Hill who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First contact HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Mill Hill conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Mill Hill both have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Mill Hill is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the property. The majority of purchasers and lenders, 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 premises 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 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Mill Hill conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Mill Hill conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Mill Hill conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Mill Hill from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Mill Hill can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Mill Hill leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. Should you fail to have the consents in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer first.
Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in negotiating a lease extension in Mill Hill. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
if there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to assess the price.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Mill Hill property 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 related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 71.73 years.
What makes a Mill Hill lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Mill Hill. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Nationwide Building Society, Chelsea Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have express conveyancing instructions 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 withdraw.