Top Five Questions relating to Winchelsea leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years remaining on my lease in Winchelsea. I need to extend my lease but my freeholder is missing. 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 for permission to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be extended by the magistrate. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the freeholder can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to investigating the landlord’s disappearance and the application to the County Court covering Winchelsea.
Expecting to complete next month on a ground floor flat in Winchelsea. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they will have a report out to me on Monday. Are there areas in the report that I should be focusing on?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Winchelsea should include some of the following:
- Defining your legal entitlements in respect of common areas in the building.By way of example, does the lease permit a right of way over a path or hallways?
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Winchelsea. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation 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. 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).
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Winchelsea where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Winchelsea conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension formalities 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. 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 has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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 buyer.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Winchelsea with the aim of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Winchelsea can be avoided if you instruct lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers solicitors.
- The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Winchelsea charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Winchelsea.
I own a 2 bed flat in Winchelsea, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you let me have an estimated range of the fair premium for a lease extension? Equivalent properties in Winchelsea with a long lease are worth £170,000. The ground rent is £50 charged once a year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2081
With only 60 years unexpired we estimate the price of your lease extension to range between £20,000 and £23,000 plus legals.
The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more comprehensive due diligence. You should 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 you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.