Residential Property Services
Five Counties offers conveyancing services in relation to the sale/purchase of freehold/leasehold registered and unregistered properties but is unable to act for lenders where property transactions are linked to either the creation or discharge of mortgages as it does not have and does not intend to apply for lender panel memberships. However, it is possible to act for buyers and/or sellers who do require mortgage services by having such services carried out by firms with whom we have a close working relationship and who do have appropriate panel memberships. Please contact us for a “no obligation” discussion to see how we are able to assist. We are able to offer standard conveyancing services, where unencumbered, i.e., non-mortgaged, properties are required to be purchased or sold by individuals or businesses, or form assets of estates and need to be sold in the course of an administration.
Individual Lease extensions and collective enfranchisement
Sometimes,when dealing with leases, it is necessary to increase the length or term of the lease because it is not a suitable security for mortgage lending. This can be done through private negotiation with the landlord or, compulsorily, by invoking the procedure under the Leasehold Reform (Housing and Urban Development) Act 1993.
Extending a lease through private negotiation can be a shorter process and less costly in terms of fees.Landlords prefer this alternative as it gives them the opportunity to increase ground rents and registration fees in return for a suggested lesser premium as it preserves, and can increase, the value of their investment, known as a reversion.By contrast,proceeding under the 1993 Act is less advantageous from the landlord’s point of view as they are bound, under the Act, to increase the leasehold term by a further 90 years from its term end date in exchange for an agreed or Tribunal determined premium, but the ground rent is commuted to a peppercorn which can severely affect the value of their reversion.
The timescale under the 1993 Act can be at least twice as long as invoking the private route and can be at least twice as costly in terms of fees. Which route a tenant or lessee takes will depend largely on advice they receive from a qualified valuer, whose initial independent input is essential in matters of this nature.
Some tenants of flats in converted and purpose built properties have the right to ask their Landlord to sell them the Freehold. Landlords are also under a duty, in certain circumstances, to offer the freehold to “qualifying” tenants before disposing of the Freehold.
We are able to assist in all such cases.
NB. Tenants should budget, not just for their own legal and valuation fees, but those of their Landlord as well. Landlords will expect their costs to be met by tenants if leases are extended by private negotiation and are entitled to payment of their reasonable costs under a statutory extension.
Commercial Property Services
These services are usually provided to business clients in connection with the sale and purchase of businesses, which involve items of property, leasehold and Freehold, goodwill, trade fixtures and stock, usually transferred at valuation. It is normal for a client’s accountant to advise on the split of the total business price between the items making up the sale/purchase.
Sometimes, it is necessary to act on the grant of a new lease, either by private negotiation between the landlord and tenant, or within proceedings under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. We are able to assist in such matters on behalf of either Landlord or Tenant. New leases for a term of more than seven years must be registered at HM Land Registry and must contain prescribed information and have plans which comply with the Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA 2002). Existing unregistered leases with more than seven years to run at the date of their sale/transfer will require registration under the LRA 2002.