Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Nine Elms:

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Nine Elms leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Fifty years left on my flat in Nine Elms. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

If you qualify, 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 granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. In some cases a specialist should be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Nine Elms.

I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Nine Elms.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is pay 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 am attracted to a two maisonettes in Nine Elms which have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Nine Elms is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 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 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 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 Nine Elms 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've recently bought a leasehold flat in Nine Elms. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?

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 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 employed by a long established estate agent office in Nine Elms where we see a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Nine Elms conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as the seller has been the owner 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. This means 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 simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

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 purchaser.

Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in negotiating a lease extension in Nine Elms. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the LVT to decide the price.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Nine Elms premises is 150A Albert Palace Mansions Lurline Gardens in July 2013. The Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the new lease of the subject property was £42,069 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 57.06 years.