Questions and Answers: Petts Wood leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Petts Wood. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Petts Wood - 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.
I have recently realised that I have 62 years remaining on my lease in Petts Wood. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application 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. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to find the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Petts Wood.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Petts Wood. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. However, 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Petts Wood where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Petts Wood conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can commence 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to wait 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 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 purchaser.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Petts Wood conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Petts Wood conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Petts Wood conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
I inherited a two-bedroom flat in Petts Wood. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum due for a lease extension?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Petts Wood conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Petts Wood premises is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 50.57 years.