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Questions and Answers: Wolverton leasehold conveyancing

I only have 72 years remaining on my lease in Wolverton. I am keen to extend my lease but my freeholder is can not be found. What options are available to me?

If you qualify, 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 Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to find the landlord. On the whole a specialist may be helpful to carry out a search and prepare a report which can be accepted by the court as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Wolverton.

I've found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Wolverton. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Wolverton are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Wolverton in which case you should be looking for a Wolverton conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.

I own a leasehold flat in Wolverton. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Wolverton who previously acted has long since retired.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. There is no need to instruct a Wolverton conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Wolverton which have about fifty years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Wolverton is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. For most purchasers and banks, leases with less than eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 a residence 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 Wolverton 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 They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. 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've recently bought a leasehold property in Wolverton. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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).

I inherited a studio flat in Wolverton, conveyancing was carried out half a dozen years ago. Can you shed any light on how much the price could be for a 90 year extension to my lease? Equivalent properties in Wolverton with an extended lease are worth £197,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced every year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2083

With only 61 years left to run the likely cost is going to range between £21,900 and £25,200 as well as legals.

The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure without more comprehensive investigations. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt other issues that need to be taken into account and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.

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Lease Extensions in Wolverton