Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Norwood Green:

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Recently asked questions relating to Norwood Green leasehold conveyancing

I only have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Norwood Green. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?

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. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Norwood Green.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Norwood Green. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Norwood Green ?

Most houses in Norwood Green are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Norwood Green in which case you should be shopping around for a Norwood Green conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Norwood Green. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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 employed by a reputable estate agent office in Norwood Green where we see a few flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Norwood Green conveyancing firms. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner 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 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 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 before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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.

My wife and I have hit a brick wall in trying to purchase the freehold in Norwood Green. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

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

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Norwood Green premises is 6 Jessamine Road in August 2013. The Tribunals valuation (as annexed to the decision) calculated the amount payable as £18,355 for the freehold reversion This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 72.39 years.

Are there frequently found problems that you witness in leases for Norwood Green properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in Norwood Green is not unique. Most leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Virgin Money, and Britannia 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Norwood Green