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North End leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in North End. Before diving in I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.

Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in North End - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

There are only Seventy years unexpired on my lease in North End. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering North End.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a North End conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a North End conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non North End conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in North End who can give a testimonial?

  • Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in North End with the intention of saving time on the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in North End can be reduced if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers solicitors.
    • A minority of North End leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate is often a lengthy formality and frustrates many a North End home move. If a reissued share is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be wise to double-check via your lawyers. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is below 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I am the registered owner of a basement flat in North End. In the absence of agreement between myself and the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium due for a lease extension?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a North End conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a North End residence is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case was in relation to 13 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76 years.

    Are there frequently found deficiencies that you see in leases for North End properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in North End is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
    • 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

    You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed 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.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in North End