Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary:

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Questions and Answers: Ottery St Mary leasehold conveyancing

I only have 68 years remaining on my lease in Ottery St Mary. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?

On the basis that you qualify, 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 extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to locate the landlord. In some cases a specialist would be helpful to try and locate and prepare a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Ottery St Mary.

Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold house in Ottery St Mary. Conveyancing and National Westminster Bank mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Ottery St Mary who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?

First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Ottery St Mary conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am employed by a busy estate agency in Ottery St Mary where we see a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Ottery St Mary conveyancing solicitors. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord 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.

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary can be avoided if you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold information which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Ottery St Mary levy fees for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary.
  • Some Ottery St Mary leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the annual 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 actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should ensure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming formality and frustrates many a Ottery St Mary home move. If a reissued share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check by asking your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will not be happy to advise their client to where the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • What are the frequently found problems that you encounter in leases for Ottery St Mary properties?

    Leasehold conveyancing in Ottery St Mary is not unique. All leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the premises
    • A duty to insure the building
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

    You could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Barclays , Barnsley Building Society, and Clydesdale all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

    I acquired a 2 bed flat in Ottery St Mary, conveyancing formalities finalised 8 years ago. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Equivalent properties in Ottery St Mary with over 90 years remaining are worth £205,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 levied per year. The lease ceases on 21st October 2089

    With just 68 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to span between £14,300 and £16,400 plus legals.

    The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other issues that need to be considered 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.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Ottery St Mary