Top Five Questions relating to Thurrock leasehold conveyancing
There are only 62 years remaining on my lease in Thurrock. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. 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 submit an application 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 magistrate. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have used your best endeavours to track down the landlord. For most situations a specialist would be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is advisable to get professional help from a property lawyer both on proving the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Thurrock.
I am attracted to a two maisonettes in Thurrock both have approximately 50 years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Thurrock. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease deteriorate and results in it becoming more expensive to extend the lease. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Thurrock. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Thurrock where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Thurrock conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
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 buyer can avoid having 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 prior to, or simultaneously with 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.
What makes a Thurrock lease unacceptable for security purposes?
Leasehold conveyancing in Thurrock is not unique. All leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You could encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. National Westminster Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the buyer to pull out.
I inherited a basement flat in Thurrock, conveyancing having been completed 4 years ago. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Equivalent flats in Thurrock with an extended lease are worth £206,000. The ground rent is £65 invoiced every year. The lease expires on 21st October 2075
With just 53 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £34,200 and £39,600 as well as legals.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs without more comprehensive due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and clearly you want to be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.