Notting Hill leasehold conveyancing Example Support Desk Enquiries
I have recently realised that I have 68 years left on my flat in Notting Hill. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?
If you qualify, 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 Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Notting Hill.
I have just started marketing my garden apartment in Notting Hill.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the service charge 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Notting Hill. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to 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 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 agency in Notting Hill where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local Notting Hill conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
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 purchaser.
What advice can you give us when it comes to finding a Notting Hill conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Notting Hill conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Notting Hill conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Having spent months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Notting Hill. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Notting Hill conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Notting Hill premises is 2 Grove House 95 Addison Road in October 2013. the Tribunal decided that the premium to bepaid for a new lease is £50,050. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 68.4 years.