Recently asked questions relating to Osterley leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Osterley. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the remaining lease term.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Osterley - 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 Fifty years left on my lease in Osterley. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What should I do?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Osterley.
I am looking at a couple of flats in Osterley which have about fifty years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Osterley is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Osterley conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Osterley. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Osterley where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Osterley conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser 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 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 purchaser.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without success. Can I apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Osterley conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
in cases where there is a absentee landlord or if 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 LVT to determine the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Osterley residence 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 related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 60.45 years.