Seascale leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
There are only 62 years remaining on my lease in Seascale. I now wish to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What options are available to me?
If you qualify, 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 mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the landlord. For most situations a specialist should be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Seascale.
I own a leasehold house in Seascale. Conveyancing and Godiva Mortgages Ltd mortgage organised. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Seascale who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Seascale 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 rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am attracted to a couple of apartments in Seascale which have about 50 years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease gets shorter the marketability of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena
I work for a reputable estate agency in Seascale where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Seascale conveyancing firms. Can you clarify whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as 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. The benefit of this is 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 sale.
An alternative approach is 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 appointing a Seascale conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Seascale conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Seascale 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:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Seascale Leasehold Conveyancing - Sample of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
It would be wise to enquire if there are any onerous prohibitions in the lease. For instance it is reasonably common in Seascale leases that pets are not permitted in certain buildings in Seascale. If you like the flatin Seascale yet your cat is not allowed to live with you then you have a very hard determination.
Can you tell me if there are any major works anticipated that will add a premium to the maintenance charges?
Does the lease include onerous restrictions?