Neasden leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years remaining on my flat in Neasden. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
If 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 Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Neasden.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Neasden. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Neasden who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to instruct a Neasden conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, 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 Neasden which have in the region of fifty years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There are plenty of short leases in Neasden. The lease is a right to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Neasden. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in Neasden where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Neasden conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that 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. The benefit of this is 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 before, 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 reach an agreement for a lease extension in Neasden. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Neasden residence is 12 Deacon Road in November 2012. the premium to be paid for the grant of the new lease was the sum of £31 ,635.00 (Thirty-One thousand and six hundred and thirty-five Pounds). The matter was then returned to the Willesden County Court for the completion of the grant of the new lease in substitution for the existing lease on payment into court the sum of £31,635.00 less the sum of £2,890.20 assessed costs incurred by the leaseholder. Thus the net sum of £28,744.80 was to be paid into court. This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 61.98 years.