Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in St Giles:

Any conveyancing practice can theoretically deal with your leasehold conveyancing in St Giles, your mortgage provider may not be willing to work with them if the firm are not on their list of approved solicitors for conveyancing

Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in St Giles

I only have 68 years unexpired on my flat in St Giles. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. For most situations an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing St Giles.

I own a leasehold flat in St Giles. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in St Giles who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a St Giles conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in St Giles where we have witnessed a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local St Giles conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can commence 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have 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 at the same time as completion of the sale.

An alternative approach is 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.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in St Giles with the intention of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Giles can be reduced where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
  • Many landlords or Management Companies in St Giles charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in St Giles.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in St Giles state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. Should you fail to have the consents in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
  • Some St Giles leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their solicitors.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Organising a new share certificate can be a lengthy process and frustrates many a St Giles home move. Where a duplicate share is required, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • Having spent years of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in St Giles. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

    Where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to assess the premium.

    An example of a Lease Extension decision for a St Giles property is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 66.8 years.

    What makes a St Giles lease unmortgageable?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in St Giles. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
    • A duty to insure the building
    • 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 Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express 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, forcing the buyer to pull out.