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Common questions relating to Park Royal leasehold conveyancing

I only have 72 years unexpired on my lease in Park Royal. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What should I do?

If 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 granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. On the whole a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Park Royal.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Park Royal both have about fifty years left on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Park Royal is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises 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 property 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 Park Royal conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Park Royal where we see a few leasehold sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Park Royal conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process 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 has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £500000 garden flat in Park Royal on Thursday in a week. The landlords agents has quoted £372 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Park Royal?

Park Royal conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not requires the purchaser’s solicitor submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions most will be willing to assist. They may charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is in excess of £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in Park Royal. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

if there is a missing freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Park Royal property is 99 Connell Crescent in May 2013. the Tribunal held that the relevant sum for the purposes of the lease extension should be £72,566 to be paid by the leaseholder This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 28.42 years.

Are there frequently found deficiencies that you witness in leases for Park Royal properties?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Park Royal. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. National Westminster Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Aldermore all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Park Royal