Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in The Hale:

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Recently asked questions relating to The Hale leasehold conveyancing

I only have Seventy years unexpired on my flat in The Hale. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that 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 mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering The Hale.

I own a leasehold house in The Hale. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage went though with no issue. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in The Hale who acted for me is not around.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a The Hale conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in The Hale. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.

If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in The Hale where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local The Hale conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the buyer?

Provided that 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having 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 disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

My wife and I have hit a brick wall in seeking a lease extension in The Hale. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

in cases where there is a absentee 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 decision for a The Hale property is 20 Orchard Court Stonegrove in June 2009. The tribunal decided that a premium of £11,040 should be payable for the new lease This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 71.55 years.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in The Hale what are the most common lease defects?

Leasehold conveyancing in The Hale is not unique. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • A provision to repair to or maintain elements 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

A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.