Guaranteed fixed fees for Leasehold Conveyancing in Somerstown

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Questions and Answers: Somerstown leasehold conveyancing

Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years left on my flat in Somerstown. I now want to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?

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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent would be helpful to carry out a search 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 property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Somerstown.

I am hoping to exchange soon on a basement flat in Somerstown. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Somerstown should include some of the following:

  • Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
  • Does the lease prevent you from renting out the property, or having a home office for business
  • An explanation as to the provision in the lease to pay service charges - with regard to both the building, and the more general rights a leaseholder has
  • Whether your lease has a provision for a reserve fund?
  • You should have a good understanding of the insurance provisions
  • Whether the landlord has obligations to ensure rights of quiet enjoyment over your premises and do you know what it means in practice?
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For a comprehensive list of information to be contained in your report on your leasehold property in Somerstown please enquire of your solicitor in ahead of your conveyancing in Somerstown

  • I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Somerstown where we have witnessed a few flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Somerstown conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

    As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done 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.

    Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Somerstown with the purpose of expediting the sale process?

    • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Somerstown can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ conveyancers.
    • Many landlords or managing agents in Somerstown charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Somerstown.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and pay 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 details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you hold a share in a the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a new share certificate can be a lengthy formality and frustrates many a Somerstown home move. If a new share is needed, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is essential at an early stage that you consider whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

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

    Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the sum to be paid.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Somerstown premises is Flat 120, Clare Court Judd Street in August 2013. the Tribunal held that the premium to be paid for the extension of the lease should be £64,650 This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 62.79 years.

    What are the common deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Somerstown properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Somerstown. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Nationwide Building Society, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and TSB 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 is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.