Quality lawyers for Leasehold Conveyancing in Richmond

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Recently asked questions relating to Richmond leasehold conveyancing

I only have Sixty One years remaining on my flat in Richmond. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?

On the basis that 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Richmond.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Richmond. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Richmond who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Richmond conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am attracted to a two flats in Richmond both have about forty five years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Richmond is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers 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 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 Richmond 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new 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 Richmond. 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 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. 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).

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Richmond from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Richmond can be bypassed if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Richmond charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Richmond.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example laid down wooden flooring? Richmond leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such works. Where you fail to have the consents in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your lawyer in advance.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where there is a current dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to present the dispute as over rather than ongoing.
  • You believe that you know the number of years remaining on your lease but you should verify this via your lawyers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.

  • Richmond Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries before buying

      Please tell me if there are any major works on the horizon that could add a premium to the service costs? What restrictions exist in the Richmond Lease? You will want to find out as much as possible about the company managing the block as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. Being a leasehold owner you will be in the clutches of the managing agents both financially and when it comes to day to day issues like the tidiness of the communal areas. Enquire of other people whether they are happy with them. On a final note, investigate as to the dates that the service charges are due to the managing agents and specifically what it includes.