Top Five Questions relating to St Pancras leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have Fifty years unexpired on my lease in St Pancras. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. For most situations an enquiry agent may be helpful to try and locate and prepare an expert document which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering St Pancras.
I’m about to sell my 2 bed apartment in St Pancras.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay 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 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.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues buying a leasehold house in St Pancras. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in St Pancras are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in St Pancras so you should seriously consider looking for a St Pancras conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as obtaining the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in St Pancras. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. 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).
Completion in due on our sale of a £300000 flat in St Pancras on Thursday in a week. The management company has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in St Pancras?
St Pancras conveyancing on leasehold apartments more often than not necessitates the buyer’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries the majority will be content to assist. They are at liberty levy a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a St Pancras conveyancing firm to assist?
if there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to decide the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a St Pancras residence 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.