Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Shenfield:

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Questions and Answers: Shenfield leasehold conveyancing

I only have 68 years remaining on my lease in Shenfield. I am keen to get lease extension but my landlord is absent. What are my options?

If 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to find the freeholder. In some cases a specialist may be helpful to try and locate and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Shenfield.

I've found a house that appears to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Shenfield. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Shenfield are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Shenfield in which case you should be shopping around for a Shenfield conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer will report to you on the legal implications.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a couple of flats in Shenfield which have about 50 years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Shenfield is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Shenfield conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I work for a long established estate agent office in Shenfield where we have experienced a few flat sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Shenfield conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm 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 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 buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, 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 purchaser.

All being well we will complete the disposal of our £450000 garden flat in Shenfield next Wednesday . The management company has quoted £348 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and 3 years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Shenfield?

Shenfield conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes usually involves the buyer’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to answer such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that you have little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to sell the property.

I invested in buying a split level flat in Shenfield, conveyancing having been completed 1999. Can you please calculate a probable premium for a statutory lease extension? Similar flats in Shenfield with an extended lease are worth £253,000. The ground rent is £45 invoiced annually. The lease comes to an end on 21st October 2084

With 61 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to span between £24,700 and £28,600 plus 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 are not able to provide a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There may be additional concerns that need to be taken into account and you obviously want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.

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Lease Extensions in Shenfield