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Recently asked questions relating to St Pancras leasehold conveyancing

I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in St Pancras. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in St Pancras - 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 have just started marketing my basement apartment in St Pancras.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?

The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice 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 managing agents 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 found a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in St Pancras. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in St Pancras are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in St Pancras so you should seriously consider shopping around for a St Pancras conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in St Pancras where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local St Pancras conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as 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.

We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in St Pancras. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a St Pancras conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a St Pancras premises 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 unexpired lease term was 66.8 years.

What makes a St Pancras lease problematic?

Leasehold conveyancing in St Pancras is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the building
  • 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 may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Virgin Money, and Aldermore all have very detailed 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 problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in St Pancras