Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Saffron Walden:

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Frequently asked questions relating to Saffron Walden leasehold conveyancing

I have recently realised that I have 62 years unexpired on my flat in Saffron Walden. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the freeholder. For most situations a specialist would be useful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be used as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Saffron Walden.

I’m about to sell my basement apartment in Saffron Walden.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

It best that you pay 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 until 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 own a leasehold flat in Saffron Walden. Conveyancing and Britannia mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Saffron Walden who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?

First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Saffron Walden conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Saffron Walden. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part 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 agent office in Saffron Walden where we see a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Saffron Walden conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. 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 sale.

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 purchaser.

I bought a 2 bed flat in Saffron Walden, conveyancing formalities finalised 2007. Can you work out an approximate cost of a lease extension? Similar flats in Saffron Walden with over 90 years remaining are worth £267,000. The ground rent is £60 charged once a year. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2098

With only 76 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £9,500 and £11,000 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Please do not take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Saffron Walden