Recently asked questions relating to St Mary Cray leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 68 years remaining on my lease in St Mary Cray. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. 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 apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing St Mary Cray.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my garden flat in St Mary Cray.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just had a half-yearly service charge invoice – what should I do?
It best that you clear 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 unless 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.
Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in St Mary Cray. Conveyancing and Yorkshire Building Society mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in St Mary Cray who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
First contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a St Mary Cray conveyancing lawyer 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've recently bought a leasehold house in St Mary Cray. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure 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 Mary Cray where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local St Mary Cray conveyancing solicitors. Can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?
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 can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. 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.
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 buyer.
I inherited a second floor flat in St Mary Cray. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a St Mary Cray conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a St Mary Cray residence is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 50.57 years.