Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in St Luke's:

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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in St Luke's

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in St Luke's. Before I get started I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

If the lease is registered - and most are in St Luke's - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I wish to sublet my leasehold flat in St Luke's. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask him. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Notwithstanding that your previous St Luke's conveyancing lawyer is no longer available you can review your lease to see if you are permitted to let out the property. The accepted inference is that if the lease is silent, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to obtain permission from your landlord or other appropriate person prior to subletting. This means that you cannot sublet in the absence of prior consent. The consent should not be unreasonably withheld. If the lease prohibits you from subletting the property you should ask your landlord if they are willing to waive this restriction.

I am attracted to a two maisonettes in St Luke's both have in the region of forty five years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in St Luke's is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 property 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 St Luke's conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.

I am employed by a long established estate agency in St Luke's where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local St Luke's conveyancing firms. Please can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

As long as 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 buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

Following months of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in St Luke's. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a St Luke's conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a St Luke's residence is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case affected 2 flats. The unexpired term was 72.39 years.

Are there common deficiencies that you witness in leases for St Luke's properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in St Luke's is not unique. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
  • Insurance obligations
  • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , The Mortgage Works, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in St Luke's