Top Five Questions relating to Moorgate leasehold conveyancing
I only have 62 years left on my flat in Moorgate. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. 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 for permission 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 or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the lessor. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce a report to be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Moorgate.
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Moorgate which have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease decreases and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is advisable to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Moorgate. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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).
I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agency in Moorgate where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Moorgate conveyancing solicitors. Please can you confirm 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Moorgate conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Moorgate conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with two or three firms including non Moorgate conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Moorgate. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Moorgate conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Moorgate flat is 137 & 139 Haberdasher Street in December 2013. The Tribunal determines in accordance with section 48 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease for each Property should be £12,350.00. This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 72.39 years.