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Questions and Answers: Robertsbridge leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have Seventy years unexpired on my flat in Robertsbridge. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What should I do?

If 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 enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you have done all that could be expected to track down the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent would be useful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Robertsbridge.

Back In 2009, I bought a leasehold house in Robertsbridge. Conveyancing and Leeds Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Robertsbridge who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Robertsbridge conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in Robertsbridge where we have experienced a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Robertsbridge conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?

Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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. This means that the buyer 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 prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 Robertsbridge conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?

When appointing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Robertsbridge conveyancing firm) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Robertsbridge 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:

  • Can they put you in touch with client in Robertsbridge who can give a testimonial?
  • What are the costs for lease extension work?

  • Are there common deficiencies that you encounter in leases for Robertsbridge properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Robertsbridge. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording 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 parts of the building
    • Insurance obligations
    • Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
    • Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage

    You may have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Aldermore all have very detailed 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 defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to pull out.

    I bought a studio flat in Robertsbridge, conveyancing formalities finalised 6 years ago. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Robertsbridge with over 90 years remaining are worth £205,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £50 invoiced every year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2086

    With only 63 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £17,100 and £19,800 as well as plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

    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 due diligence. You should not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

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    Lease Extensions in Robertsbridge