Questions and Answers: Richmond leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Richmond. Before diving in I would like to find out the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Richmond - 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 only have 72 years unexpired on my lease in Richmond. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?
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. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. On the whole a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Richmond.
I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Richmond.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Richmond. Conveyancing advisers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Richmond ?
The majority of houses in Richmond are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Richmond in which case you should be looking for a Richmond conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.
I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Richmond where we see a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Richmond conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start 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 start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, 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 buyer.
I bought a 1st floor flat in Richmond, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding properties in Richmond with over 90 years remaining are worth £268,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 invoiced every year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2099
With just 78 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £11,400 and £13,200 as well as costs.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first getting professional advice.