Frequently asked questions relating to Westcombe Park leasehold conveyancing
Planning to complete next month on a garden flat in Westcombe Park. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they report fully tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park should include some of the following:
- The unexpired lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease expires, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Westcombe Park which have about forty five years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Westcombe Park 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 salability of the premises. The majority of purchasers and lenders, leases with under 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 Westcombe Park 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 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 busy estate agent office in Westcombe Park where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Westcombe Park conveyancing firms. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
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. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Westcombe Park conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Westcombe Park conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Westcombe Park conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Westcombe Park in the last twenty four months?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park with the intention of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Westcombe Park can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers lawyers.
- In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Westcombe Park leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord consenting to such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork to hand you should not communicate with the landlord without contacting your lawyer before hand.
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Westcombe Park conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Westcombe Park premises is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72 years.