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Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Woodlands

I only have 68 years left on my lease in Woodlands. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?

On the basis that 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 an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Woodlands.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of maisonettes in Woodlands which have about fifty years unexpired on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Woodlands is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. For most buyers 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 premises 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 Woodlands 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.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Woodlands. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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).

Completion in due on the sale of our £225000 maisonette in Woodlands in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Woodlands?

Woodlands conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes more often than not involves the purchaser’s lawyer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions the majority will be content to assist. They may levy a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some cases it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

I have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Woodlands. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

if there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to determine the amount due.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Woodlands property is Ground Floor Flat 91 Bath Road in May 2009. in a case where the freeholder could not be traced, the Brentford County Court ordered that the Lease be surrendered in return for the grant of a new lease of the Premises at a premium determined by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. The tribunal concluded that the price payable by the Applicant for the new lease of the premises be £15,900 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 60.45 years.

What makes a Woodlands lease unacceptable for security purposes?

Leasehold conveyancing in Woodlands is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the property
  • Insurance obligations
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Skipton Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.