Lease extension probs and recommendation

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  • Meyamoo
    replied
    I'm not sure whether the fact that F had never issued accounts, nor could she produce any receipts/invoices to support her monetary cliams, had anything to do with the settlement, but either way, I didn't have to pay for the previous leaseholders debt, whatever that debt may or mat not have been.

    Are you able to assist with my present problem, being the extension of the lease? I would like to engage somebody to help me with this, given my very limited knowledge of leasehold matters.

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    Liability is like "pass the parcel". Whoever owns the leasehold for the time being is liable for all debts, past and present.
    Exclusions:
    A. Debts over 6yrs. old which are irrecoverable [Limitation Act 1980 gives T a defence] unless T has acknowledged their validity since.
    B. Debts pre-dating the issue (by F) of a clear receipt for ground rent/service charge [see s.45(2) of Law of Property Act 1925].

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  • Meyamoo
    replied
    Hi Jeffrey, thanks for the response. Yes, that's the one thing that my old solicitor sort of got right.

    The V had not paid SC for several months, adn when F showed up the day after my purchase, she wanted me to pay for the V's outstanding SC of approximately £1,500. However, my solicitor had retained £500 from the sale as well as advising me to purchase an indemnity policy. Despite this, and also having no accounts from which she was working, F still hounded me for over a year trying to get money she was not owed from me.

    The overpayments I refer to in my first post arose from me setting up a monthly direct debit to pay F my SC as I did not want it to look as if I was refusing to pay her any SC, which I never have, I just refused to pay somebody else's SC.

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    When you bought in July 2006, what did your solicitor do about V's prior service charge etc? Although the last leaseholder had died, the sale by his/her personal representative as vendor (V) would otherwise have proceeded in a normal way. Did your solicitor obtain:
    a. any funds from V, on a retention basis; or
    b. an indemnity insurance policy, to protect you?

    Leave a comment:


  • Meyamoo
    started a topic Lease extension probs and recommendation

    Lease extension probs and recommendation

    I joined up to this site today, as searching on the internet, it is exactly what I am looking for, given that I have seen many similar situations to mine, though as we know with property, each transaction is unique.

    I have a query which I would be grateful if anyone could give me some suggestions on, but first I need to set the scene:

    I bought my run down 1 bed flat in South London in July 2006 for £132k (100% mortgage) on an absent freeholder ("F") basis, therefore I did not have closing accounts from previous leaseholder (it was the estate of a deceased person). Post my purchase, my F resurfaced demanding back payments of service charges ("SC"), and to cut a long story short, I have now got draft accounts for the last 3 years, as well as almost £1,000 in overpayments repaid to me from my F, via me taking the SC and accounts case first to the LVT to appoint a new managing agent ("MA"), and also for the LVT to determine the SC amount, then to the county court when F refused to repay.

    The original lease on the flat was for 99 years from 23 December 1985, hence there is just over 76 years left on the lease now. I would like to sell the flat, however given the current economic climate, plus the fact that I have a very very difficult and uncooperative F, the lease needs to be extended by me prior to the sale. I know I have the right to extend the lease as I have lived in the property for 2 years, and going for the freehold is not an option as the F outrightly owns two of the remaining flats in the building which she lets out(there are 4 flats altogether, and the remaining leaseholder can't be traced).

    How do I know I have a difficult freeholder? Well, I tried selling the propoerty about a year ago, and received 3 offers of the asking price of £210k(which I accepted), plus 2 others of £205k. The potential sale ran for 3 months, during the last 2 of which nothing happened because my purchaser was waiting for accounts, and the provision of the MA questionnaire (my F was both F and MA at the time), which my F had refused to provide. The potential purchaser did the sensible thing and pulled out after 3 months (with the experience I have had, and if I knew what I know now, I would have done the same thing!). Sorry I digress.

    1. Leasehold extension cost
    Anyway, from what have seen on the internet, it looks like the lease extension will cost in the region of £6-10k. Does that sound around the right kind of ballpark figure? I am hoping to add this amount to my mortgage, which although it was 100% of the property value at the time (I took a high LTV due to the £20k of renovations I knew I would need to carry out post purchase), local similar properties are now conservatively £190k, having dropped circa 10% from the £210k level of a year ago, though agents have advised me that my flat could only achieve £180k, due to the short-ish lease.

    2. One stop shop recommendation
    With regards to the above, I am essentially looking for specialist who has lots of experience in this area, and can do all the legal work, as well as the lease extension valuation (or at least has contacts they can engage on my behalf to do this), and do all the necessary liasion with my mortgage company (it runs out in July 2008), as I am hoping to tie the lease extension into renewing my mortgage. I have seen a few companies providing these services on the web, though I need to know of any good experiences and service anyone has had, as I would gladly use them (the solictor I used for the original transaction didn't advise me as well as they could have, therefore I am reluctant to just take a random one off the internet without knowing anything about the company). I know this process is all likely to take some time, hence why I am starting now, with a view to having it all completed by June/July 2009.

    Finally, could somebody tell me how much the above legal work, plus valuation is likely to cost (bearing in mind any F costs-though only the ones that I definitely have to pay, she is likely to try anything on, including trying to get me to pay other invoices from her retained solicitor as she has done in the past).

    Sorry for the long post, however I thought it was important to put evrything into context prior to asking questions.

    Thanks in advance!

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