Osterley leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
There are only Sixty One years left on my lease in Osterley. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Osterley.
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Osterley.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly 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've found a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable 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 house with a leasehold title in Osterley. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Osterley are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Osterley so you should seriously consider looking for a Osterley conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should advise you fully on all the issues.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Osterley. Conveyancing and Barclays mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Osterley who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Osterley conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I work for a busy estate agency in Osterley where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Osterley conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Having spent months of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Osterley. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
Where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to arrive at the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Osterley property is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 60.45 years.