Frequently asked questions relating to Swiss Cottage leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Swiss Cottage. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is registered - and almost all are in Swiss Cottage - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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 ground floor apartment in Swiss Cottage.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is 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 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Swiss Cottage. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Swiss Cottage who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Swiss Cottage conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I work for a reputable estate agency in Swiss Cottage where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Swiss Cottage conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 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 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Swiss Cottage conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Swiss Cottage conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Swiss Cottage conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then why not?
I am the registered owner of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Swiss Cottage. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute 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 decide the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Swiss Cottage premises 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 number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 16.83 and 16.43.