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Recently asked questions relating to Rainham leasehold conveyancing

I only have Sixty One years left on my lease in Rainham. I now want to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

If you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. In some cases a specialist may be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. 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 covering Rainham.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Rainham both have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Rainham 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 marketability of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 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 Rainham 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Rainham. Am I liable to pay 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 am employed by a long established estate agency in Rainham where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Rainham conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process 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 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with 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 purchaser.

We expect to complete the disposal of our £400000 garden flat in Rainham next Tuesday . The freeholder has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Rainham?

Rainham conveyancing on leasehold flats usually involves the buyer’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has no choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.

I have had difficulty in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Rainham. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

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 First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to make a decision on the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Rainham premises is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 57.5 years.

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Lease Extensions in Rainham