Questions and Answers: Sydenham Hill leasehold conveyancing
There are only 62 years remaining on my lease in Sydenham Hill. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. For most situations a specialist should be useful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Sydenham Hill.
I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Sydenham Hill. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Sydenham Hill ?
Most houses in Sydenham Hill are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Sydenham Hill in which case you should be looking for a Sydenham Hill conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to 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 to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
I own a leasehold house in Sydenham Hill. Conveyancing and The Royal Bank of Scotland mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Sydenham Hill who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Sydenham Hill 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.
I am looking at a couple of flats in Sydenham Hill which have about fifty years unexpired on the leases. should I be concerned?
There are plenty of short leases in Sydenham Hill. The lease is a right to use the property for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more expensive to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
I am the leaseholder of a first floor flat in Sydenham Hill. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?
if there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement 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 calculate the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Sydenham Hill flat is Flat 5 4 Border Crescent in December 2013. the tribunal calculated that premium payable for the acquisition of a lease extension of the subject premises was in the sum of £14,900 (Fourteen thousand, nine hundred pounds). Those advising the applicant were advised to send a copy of the decision and a copy of the new lease with the premium (less the applicants costs as assessed by the Court) to the Croydon County Court (under claim number 3CR01226) for an officer of the Court to execute the new lease on behalf of the absentee landlord who is missing and cannot be traced). This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69 years.
Are there frequently found defects that you witness in leases for Sydenham Hill properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Sydenham Hill. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain provisions are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Santander, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Aldermore all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.