Thu 28 Feb 2013

A fresh look at Rights of light


Rights of light may not be a subject to worry most homeowners, but a recent article in the Daily Telegraph gave the impression that this was yet another hallowed property right under attack from the government.

The subject of the article’s wrath is a consultation paper just published by the Law Commission, looking into the way the law relating to rights of light operates at present, and suggesting possible amendments. The Commission is a statutory independent body to keep the law under review and to recommend reform where it is needed.

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Thu 21 Feb 2013

New helpline to combat property fraud

The Land Registry has just set up a dedicated phone line for home-owners who think they may be the victims of fraud.

You can now ring 0300 006 7030 if you think someone else is trying to sell or mortgage your home, and alert Registry staff.  

This is part of the continuing campaign to stamp out property fraud, which is costing millions of pounds every year.

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Fri 08 Feb 2013

A simple guide to help find if you need a lease extension

Do you own a flat? If so it will almost certainly have a leasehold title. Leases are granted for a fixed period of time, often just 99 years. This is known as the term of the lease. When the term expires, the property goes back to the landlord.

The law now gives leaseholders the right to require their landlord to grant them an extension for an additional 90 years. But many people think that if their lease has got 50 or 60 years still to run, that should be plenty of time.  

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Fri 01 Feb 2013

Land Registry’s new document service speeds conveyancing

The Land Registry has recently introduced a new system which allows Conveyancing Solicitors focused on speed to submit applications and documents electronically. This will speed up the registration of property transfers and mortgages, but will it provide quicker Conveyancing for buyers and sellers? 

The Registry is a government agency which registers the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. At present more than 23 million titles are registered, with more being added all the time.  

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Wed 30 Jan 2013

What happens when a buyer wants the seller to extend a lease before completion?

If often happens that when a leasehold flat is being sold, the buyer wants to get the lease extended. In that case they will want the seller to take appropriate action, as the buyer will not entitled to a lease extension until he or she has owned the property for at least two years.

If the buyer insists upon arrangements being made for a lease extension, there are two choices open to the seller and buyer:

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Wed 30 Jan 2013

Common law couples - ensure your names are on your house deeds


There’s no such thing as a ‘common-law marriage’ in England and Wales. So you won’t be entitled to a share in your home if you’re not married and it’s owned in your partner’s name alone. This stark warning for cohabiting couples follows the comments made by a senior judge in a recent case.

Many people are under the mistaken view that English law recognises something known as a ‘common-law marriage’ and that if you live with someone this entitles you to a share of their property.

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Tue 29 Jan 2013

How do solicitors help with the lease extension process?

Having an expert Solicitor on your side will make a tremendous help when you want to get an extension to the lease of your flat. Here are some of the things that your Solicitor will do to make sure that your lease extension is completed quickly and with as little stress for yourself as possible: 

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Wed 23 Jan 2013

What happens if you cant agree lease extension terms with your freeholder?

The majority of all applications for a lease extension are settled by agreement between the leaseholder and the freeholder. However in the very few cases when agreement of the terms cannot be reached, the leaseholder can make an application for the terms to be settled by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT).

It is also necessary to make an application to the LVT in cases when a leaseholder wants an extension of the lease but the landlord is missing and cannot be traced.

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Wed 23 Jan 2013

Why you should extend your lease before you sell your flat


To be able to sell a flat easily the unexpired term of the lease has to be acceptable to the majority of mortgage lenders. In practical terms that is now usually taken as being at least seventy years.

All leases are granted for a period of time – known as the term – and residential leases are frequently granted for a term of only 99 years. As the outstanding term gradually becomes shorter, leasehold homes become less and less attractive to buyers and their mortgage lenders.  

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Fri 18 Jan 2013

What has a surveyor got to do with extending your lease?


A common question from owners of leasehold flats relates to the process involved in extending a lease - especially where the lease has fewer than eighty years remaining.

Many assume the first step is to approach the freeholder to enquire how much they will be requires to pay to extend the lease.

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