Mitcham leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
There are only Seventy years unexpired on my lease in Mitcham. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?
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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Mitcham.
I have just started marketing my garden apartment in Mitcham.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Mitcham where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Mitcham conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Mitcham conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Mitcham conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with two or three firms including non Mitcham conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Mitcham who can give a testimonial?
We expect to complete our sale of a £300000 flat in Mitcham in just under a week. The freeholder has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Mitcham?
Mitcham conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions most will be willing to assist. They are entitled levy 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 £350, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Mitcham conveyancing firm to represent me?
Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Mitcham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Mitcham premises is 50 & 52 Southcroft Road in September 2013. The tribunals own valuation determined that the premium payable should be £29,000 This case related to 2 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 86.11 and 60.64.