Questions and Answers: North Kensington leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in North Kensington. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in North Kensington - 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.
I only have Seventy years unexpired on my lease in North Kensington. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering North Kensington.
I own a leasehold flat in North Kensington. Conveyancing and Nationwide Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in North Kensington who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a North Kensington conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in North Kensington. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation 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 ensure 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 busy estate agent office in North Kensington where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local North Kensington conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 buyer.
I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in North Kensington. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount due for a lease extension?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a North Kensington conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a North Kensington flat is 93 Oakwood Court in June 2010. the LVT determined that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £492,083, This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 37.79 years.