Recently asked questions relating to Strawberry Hill leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Strawberry Hill. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Strawberry Hill - 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 appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Strawberry Hill.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is discharge 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of apartments in Strawberry Hill which have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Strawberry Hill is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most purchasers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Strawberry Hill conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I work for a long established estate agency in Strawberry Hill where we have experienced a few flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Strawberry Hill conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is 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 has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £325000 flat in Strawberry Hill in six days. The landlords agents has quoted £420 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Strawberry Hill?
Strawberry Hill conveyancing on leasehold flats more often than not involves the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable administration fee for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is above £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Strawberry Hill conveyancing firm to represent me?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a Strawberry Hill conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Strawberry Hill residence 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 unexpired lease term was 60.45 years.