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Ruxley leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have recently realised that I have Fifty years remaining on my flat in Ruxley. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the lessor. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence 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 overseeing Ruxley.

I own a leasehold house in Ruxley. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Ruxley who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Ruxley conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am looking at a couple of apartments in Ruxley both have in the region of forty five years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Ruxley is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. 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 premises 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 premises 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 Ruxley 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Ruxley. 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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).

After years of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Ruxley. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Ruxley conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Ruxley flat is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case affected 1 flat.

What makes a Ruxley lease defective?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Ruxley. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are not included. 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
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You could encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Skipton Building Society, and Bank of Ireland 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 does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.