Questions and Answers: West Ham leasehold conveyancing
I have recently realised that I have 68 years left on my flat in West Ham. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. 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 granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to track down the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent should be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering West Ham.
Due to sign contracts shortly on a garden flat in West Ham. Conveyancing solicitors assured me that they are sending me a report tomorrow. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in West Ham should include some of the following:
- You should receive a copy of the lease
I am attracted to a couple of flats in West Ham which have about 50 years unexpired on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in West Ham 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 marketability of the property. The majority of buyers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. 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 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 West Ham conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in West Ham where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received contradictory information from local West Ham conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that 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 proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 buyer.
Having spent years of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in West Ham. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a West Ham conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a West Ham property is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 69.77 years.
Are there frequently found deficiencies that you encounter in leases for West Ham properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in West Ham. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain sections are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Barclays , Bank of Scotland, and Bank of Ireland 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.