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Top Five Questions relating to Pratt's Bottom leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have Sixty One years left on my lease in Pratt's Bottom. I need to extend my lease but my landlord 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the freeholder. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Pratt's Bottom.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Pratt's Bottom which have in the region of fifty years left on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?

A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is advisable to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies less inclined to grant a loan on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Pratt's Bottom conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Pratt's Bottom conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with several firms including non Pratt's Bottom conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they completed in Pratt's Bottom in the last twenty four months?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom with the aim of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
    • Many landlords or Management Companies in Pratt's Bottom charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom.
  • Some Pratt's Bottom leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a new share certificate is often a lengthy process and delays many a Pratt's Bottom home move. If a new share certificate is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where relevant) for this sooner rather than later.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check by asking your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to where the remaining number of years is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I own a two-bedroom flat in Pratt's Bottom. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Pratt's Bottom conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Pratt's Bottom residence 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 was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired term was 50.57 years.

    Are there frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for Pratt's Bottom properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, Leeds Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd 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 defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Pratt's Bottom