Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Melbourne:

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Melbourne leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

There are only 62 years left on my flat in Melbourne. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What should I do?

If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be extended by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Melbourne.

Looking forward to sign contracts shortly on a garden flat in Melbourne. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they report fully within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?

The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Melbourne should include some of the following:

  • You should receive a copy of the lease
  • The total extent of the premises. This will be the apartment itself but might incorporate a roof space or cellar if applicable.
  • Setting out your rights in respect of common areas in the block.E.G., does the lease contain a right of way over an accessway or hallways?
  • Do you need to have carpet in the flat or are you allowed wood flooring?
  • Will you be prohibited or prevented from having pets in the property?
  • Ground rent - how much and when you need to pay, and also know whether this will change in the future
  • The landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain the building. It is important that you know who is responsible for the repair and maintenance of every part of the building For details of the information to be included in your report on your leasehold property in Melbourne please enquire of your lawyer in advance of your conveyancing in Melbourne

  • I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Melbourne.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

    Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. This will smooth the conveyancing process.

    My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Melbourne. Conveyancing and Clydesdale mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing solicitor in Melbourne who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

    The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to instruct a Melbourne conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

    I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Melbourne which have approximately fifty years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

    There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Melbourne is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, 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 Melbourne 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 own a 1st floor flat in Melbourne, conveyancing formalities finalised 2010. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Comparable properties in Melbourne with an extended lease are worth £261,000. The ground rent is £50 yearly. The lease finishes on 21st October 2088

    With 68 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to span between £9,500 and £11,000 as well as costs.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Melbourne