Frequently asked questions relating to St Helier leasehold conveyancing
I only have Fifty years remaining on my flat in St Helier. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be helpful to carry out a search and to produce 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 in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering St Helier.
Expecting to complete next month on a garden flat in St Helier. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they will have a report out to me tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in St Helier should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, landlord
I work for a long established estate agency in St Helier where we see a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local St Helier conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
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. This means 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 simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £400000 apartment in St Helier in nine days. The managing agents has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in St Helier?
St Helier conveyancing on leasehold flats usually necessitates the buyer’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to these enquiries the majority will be willing to assist. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. In reality you have little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Following months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in St Helier. 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 Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a St Helier property is Buchanan Court 39 Vernon Road in April 2010. the Tribunal assessed that the premium payable for the freehold of the block should be £44,000. This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 66.67 years.
What are the common deficiencies that you come across in leases for St Helier properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in St Helier is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the premises
- Insurance obligations
- 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
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. HSBC Bank, Skipton Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.