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Selsdon leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have recently realised that I have 68 years remaining on my lease in Selsdon. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. For most situations a specialist would be useful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Selsdon.

I am looking at a two flats in Selsdon which have about forty five years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Selsdon. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. It is an essential part 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 am employed by a long established estate agent office in Selsdon where we have witnessed a number of flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Selsdon conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

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 buyer.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £250000 maisonette in Selsdon next week. The landlords agents has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Selsdon?

Selsdon conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be willing to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is in excess of £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has no option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.

I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Selsdon. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?

You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Selsdon conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Selsdon premises is The Woodlands 95 Purley Park Road in April 2009. The Tribunals own valuation produced the figure of £37,912. This case was in relation to 6 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 78.32 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Selsdon