Common questions relating to Saffron Walden leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Saffron Walden. Before I get started I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Saffron Walden - 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 only have Sixty One years unexpired on my lease in Saffron Walden. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. For most situations a specialist should be useful to try and locate and to produce an expert document which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Saffron Walden.
I have just started marketing my ground floor flat in Saffron Walden.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just received a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear 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 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 am a negotiator for a busy estate agent office in Saffron Walden where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Saffron Walden conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension process 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 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 simultaneously with completion of the sale.
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 purchaser.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Saffron Walden conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Saffron Walden conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Saffron Walden conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm carried out in Saffron Walden in the last 12 months?
I acquired a garden flat in Saffron Walden, conveyancing having been completed in 1997. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Equivalent flats in Saffron Walden with a long lease are worth £206,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced every year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2078
With 57 years unexpired the likely cost is going to range between £24,700 and £28,600 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure above a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we cannot give you the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information before getting professional advice.