Recently asked questions relating to Roehampton leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have Seventy years unexpired on my lease in Roehampton. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Roehampton.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Roehampton. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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 reputable estate agent office in Roehampton where we see a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Roehampton conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. 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 extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Roehampton conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Roehampton conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you speak with several firms including non Roehampton 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 of use:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in Roehampton in the last year?
Following months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Roehampton. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Roehampton conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Roehampton property is 19 St. Margarets Crescent in August 2010. the tribunal was of the view that the premium to be paid by the leaseholder for the freehold reversion was £51,983.00 This case related to 3 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 66.25 years.
What makes a Roehampton lease unacceptable for security purposes?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Roehampton. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You will encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Britannia all have very detailed conveyancing instructions 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 provide security, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.