Recently asked questions relating to Wembley leasehold conveyancing
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Wembley which have about 50 years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Wembley is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 property 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 Wembley 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new 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've recently bought a leasehold house in Wembley. Am I liable to pay 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. A critical element 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 employed by a busy estate agent office in Wembley where we see a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Wembley conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 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 disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Wembley conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Wembley conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you talk with several firms including non Wembley conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How many lease extensions has the firm carried out in Wembley in the last 12 months?
All being well we will complete the disposal of our £500000 maisonette in Wembley next week. The managing agents has quoted £312 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Wembley?
Wembley conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes ordinarily results in administration charges invoiced by landlords agents :
- Completing pre-exchange enquiries
- Where consent is required before sale in Wembley
- Copies of the building insurance and schedule
- Deeds of covenant upon sale
- Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Wembley. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to determine the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Wembley property is Ground Floor Flat 79 London Road in September 2012. the Tribunal held that the premium payable for the lease extension should be £7,636 This case related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 74 years.