Top Five Questions relating to Luton leasehold conveyancing
I only have 72 years left on my lease in Luton. I now wish to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, 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 mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to track down the freeholder. On the whole a specialist may be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Luton.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Luton. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Luton ?
Most houses in Luton are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Luton in which case you should be shopping around for a Luton conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
I am looking at a couple of maisonettes in Luton both have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Luton is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the property. For most buyers and lenders, leases with less than 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 Luton 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.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Luton with the purpose of saving time on the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Luton can be avoided where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ representatives.
- A minority of Luton leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
We expect to complete the disposal of our £175000 apartment in Luton next week. The management company has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Luton?
Luton conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves the buyer’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address these enquiries most will be content to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The administration charge invoiced by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. In reality one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to sell the property.
I invested in buying a split level flat in Luton, conveyancing formalities finalised 2003. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Luton with a long lease are worth £210,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease ceases on 21st October 2077
With only 54 years left to run we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £29,500 and £34,000 plus costs.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.