Top Five Questions relating to North London leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in North London. Before I get started I would like to find out the remaining lease term.
If the lease is registered - and most are in North London - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I have just started marketing my 2 bed flat in North London.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is discharge the service charge 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I am looking at a couple of apartments in North London both have in the region of 50 years left on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in North London is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most buyers and lenders, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 property 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 North London 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 You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a North London conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a North London conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non North London conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If they are not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Following years of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in North London. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a North London conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a North London flat is 20 Avonwick Road in July 2013. The Tribunal was dealing with an application under Section 26 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 for a determination of the freehold value of the property. It was concluded that the price to be paid was Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy (£15,970) divided as to £8,200 for Flat 20 and £7,770 for Flat 20A This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 73.26 years.
What are the frequently found defects that you come across in leases for North London properties?
Leasehold conveyancing in North London is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
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. Yorkshire Building Society, Leeds Building Society, and Britannia all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the buyer to withdraw.