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Common questions relating to Wallington leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have Seventy years left on my lease in Wallington. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What should I do?

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 mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. For most situations a specialist may be helpful to carry out a search and to produce an expert document which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Wallington.

I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Wallington.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should 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 unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Wallington. 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. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Wallington who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Wallington conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. 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 am attracted to a two flats in Wallington both have in the region of fifty years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Wallington is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the value of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less attractive. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Wallington conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Wallington where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Wallington conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the seller 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. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the sale.

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 buyer.

I inherited a ground floor flat in Wallington. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for a lease extension?

Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Wallington conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Wallington property is 21 & 23 Carshalton Grove in May 2009. the Tribunal adopted the figures presented as the premiums payable by the Applicant i.e. a total of £20,750. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 72 years.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Wallington