Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in St Margarets

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Recently asked questions relating to St Margarets leasehold conveyancing

I only have 68 years left on my flat in St Margarets. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. 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 lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the landlord. On the whole a specialist may be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering St Margarets.

Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my ground floor flat in St Margarets.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a quarterly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

The sensible thing to do is discharge the service charge as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in St Margarets. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. A critical element 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 a negotiator for a long established estate agent office in St Margarets where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local St Margarets conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start 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. This means 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 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.

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

You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a St Margarets conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a St Margarets flat is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 60.45 years.

What are the common defects that you see in leases for St Margarets properties?

Leasehold conveyancing in St Margarets is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. 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

You could have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Yorkshire Building Society, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in St Margarets