Common questions relating to Stepney leasehold conveyancing
There are only 62 years remaining on my lease in Stepney. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
If you qualify, 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 Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. In some cases a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare an expert document to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Stepney.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed apartment in Stepney.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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.
I work for a long established estate agency in Stepney where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Stepney conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?
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 wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Stepney conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Stepney conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Stepney conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- How many lease extensions have they carried out in Stepney in the last twenty four months?
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Stepney with the intention of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Stepney can be bypassed where you instruct lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
- Many freeholders or Management Companies in Stepney levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Stepney.
Following years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Stepney. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Stepney residence is 12, 14 & 16 Hull Close in May 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold to the subject premises was the sum of £18,300 This case related to 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 101.61 years.