Top Five Questions relating to West Hendon leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years remaining on my lease in West Hendon. I need to extend my lease but my landlord 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 lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to locate the freeholder. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to conduct investigations and prepare a report which can be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering West Hendon.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to meet my requirements, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in West Hendon. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in West Hendon are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in West Hendon so you should seriously consider shopping around for a West Hendon conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the landlord’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in West Hendon. 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. A critical element 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 West Hendon where we see a number of flat sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local West Hendon conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as 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. The benefit of this is 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 has to be done before, or simultaneously with 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 buyer.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in West Hendon with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in West Hendon can be reduced if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to collate the leasehold information needed by the buyers solicitors.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s permission? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Most leases in West Hendon state that internal structural alterations or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such alterations. If you fail to have the consents to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your conveyancer first.
We have reached the end of our tether in trying to purchase the freehold in West Hendon. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a West Hendon conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a West Hendon property is First Floor Flat 61 Wilberforce Road in March 2014. The premium payable was £10,130 and the case was remitted back to the Willesden County Court to effect the Vesting Order (Claim No 3W103100). This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 71 years.