Recently asked questions relating to Smithfield leasehold conveyancing
There are only 62 years unexpired on my lease in Smithfield. I need to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What are my options?
On the basis that 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 granted an extra 90 years by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the lessor. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and prepare an expert document to be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Smithfield.
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed apartment in Smithfield.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
It best that you 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Smithfield. Conveyancing solicitors have are soon to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Smithfield are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Smithfield in which case you should be looking for a Smithfield conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Smithfield. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. However, 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Smithfield conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Smithfield conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you talk with two or three firms including non Smithfield conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Smithfield, conveyancing formalities finalised 7 years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Corresponding flats in Smithfield with an extended lease are worth £181,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced annually. The lease runs out on 21st October 2090
You have 68 years unexpired we estimate the premium for your lease extension to range between £8,600 and £9,800 as well as professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action placing reliance on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.