Questions and Answers: Totteridge leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years unexpired on my lease in Totteridge. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is can not be found. What are my options?
If 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. For most situations a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court overseeing Totteridge.
I own a leasehold house in Totteridge. Conveyancing and Bank of Scotland mortgage organised. 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 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Totteridge who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is 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 Totteridge conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Totteridge. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, 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 be sure 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 long established estate agent office in Totteridge where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Totteridge conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence 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 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 before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is 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.
Completion in due on the disposal of our £225000 flat in Totteridge next week. The freeholder has quoted £408 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Totteridge?
Totteridge conveyancing on leasehold apartments normally requires the purchaser’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be willing to assist. They may levy a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.
I am the leaseholder of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Totteridge. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Totteridge conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Totteridge flat is Flat 2 2 Netherfield Road in April 2010. The Tribunale held that premium payable for a 90 year extension to the existing Lease should be £7,705. This case related to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 76 years.