Questions and Answers: Swiss Cottage leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Swiss Cottage - 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.
There are only 68 years remaining on my flat in Swiss Cottage. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?
On the basis that you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application 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 or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent should be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the landlord 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 Swiss Cottage.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Swiss Cottage. Conveyancing solicitors have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Swiss Cottage are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Swiss Cottage so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Swiss Cottage conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in transacting 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 at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should advise you fully on all the issues.
Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold flat in Swiss Cottage. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Swiss Cottage who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First contact the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Swiss Cottage conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage from the perspective of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
- If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Swiss Cottage leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you dont have the approvals to hand you should not contact the landlord without checking with your lawyer in the first instance.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Swiss Cottage conveyancing firm to assist?
if there is a missing freeholder or where 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Swiss Cottage flat is Raised Ground Floor Flat 20 Fitzjohns Avenue in July 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premiums to be paid for new leases in respect of the Raised Ground Floor Flat and the First Floor Flat were to be calculated as: Raised Ground Floor: £765,175.14 First Floor: £601,617.77 This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 16.83 and 16.43.