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Lease extensions

a key in a lock - Lease extensions, extending my lease, legal advice in Hungerford, Berkshire.

If you have owned a leasehold property for over 2 years as a private individual, generally you will have a right to extend your lease (subject to qualifying conditions). This may be required when you are thinking of selling your flat or re-mortgaging, or you may wish to do it as an investment in your property for the future.

The new lease would be for a period of 90 years plus the original term at a peppercorn rent.

You should look at extending your lease if it has less than 90 years to run, as it can begin to devalue the property as the lease term shortens. When the lease drops below 80 years, the premium can increase significantly. Most mortgage companies will not accept leases of less than 30 years plus the proposed mortgage term.

THE PROCEDURE

Qualification

Was the lease originally granted for a term of more than 21 years?

Have you held the lease for at least 2 years or had the benefit of the lease extention process assigned to you?

Valuation

A specialist valuer will prepare a valuation of the lease extension and give you a suggested premium, using a special formula set out in the legislation.

Notice of Claim

We will prepare a notice to inform the landlord of your intention to purchase a lease extension. This is served on the landlord and any other parties to the lease (e.g. a management company).

Landlord’s Counter-notice

The landlord has 2 months in which to serve a counter-notice, either accepting your proposed terms or proposing new terms, or denying your claim. During this time the landlord is likely to instruct its own valuation of the property and may require access for this. They may also ask for a 10% deposit from you.

Negotiations

Within 2 months of the date of the counter-notice, both parties have the opportunity to negotiate agreed terms.

First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)

If an agreement cannot be reached, an application must be made to the Property Tribunal for a determination of the premium payable.

Completion

Once terms are agreed, or have been determined by the Tribunal, the landlord’s solicitor will provide the new lease and this will be signed by all parties and completed. This is the point at which you must pay the premium and costs.

Costs

As part of the legislation, the tenant is responsible for paying the landlord’s legal fees for service of the counter notice and preparation of the new lease, and the landlord’s valuation fees. These must be reasonable and if they are not agreed, an application can be made to the Tribunal for a determination of the amount payable.

To discuss this and to obtain more information contact:
Julian Dickins or Deborah Wason at Dickins Hopgood Chidley Solicitors,
The Old School House, 42 High Street, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0NF 01488 683555

Conveyancing process – flowchart for buyers

To discuss this and to obtain more information contact:

Dickins Hopgood Chidley Solicitors,
The Old School House, 42 High Street, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0NF 01488 683555

What is probate?

Probate legal advice in Berkshire, image shows a person reading documents

Probate, what is it? When a person dies, someone has to deal with their affairs and decide what will happen to the things they owned.

Executors

The executors are the people appointed in a Will to deal with the estate of the person who has died. An administrator is the person who deals with the estate of a person who has died without a Will (intestate). They can both be called personal representatives.

Executors can arrange the funeral and take charge of the house and possessions, unless they automatically pass to a joint owner.

If there are sufficient assets the executors will have to apply for probate. This is the legal document proving the Will and authorising the executors to deal with the assets and liabilities of the estate.

Applying for probate

To apply for probate, the value of all of the deceased’s possessions, assets and debts has to be ascertained.

If there is, or could, be Inheritance Tax to pay, the executors must report the value of the estate to HM Revenue. If the estate is not liable to IHT the executors must still complete a form giving details of the assets and certain gifts made by the person who died. This must be arranged before an application is made to the Probate Registry.

Once the matter of inheritance tax is resolved, an oath is sworn by the executors or administrators, confirming that they will administer the estate. When probate is granted, the executors have the right to deal with the assets and property of the deceased, including closure of bank accounts, sale or transfer of shares, transfer or sale of property, and payment of debts and expenses etc.

Executors are responsible for distributing the estate to the beneficiaries of the Will. Administrators must follow the ‘rules of entitlement’, which govern who will benefit from the estate of a person who has died intestate (without a will).

Instructing Us

Instructing a solicitor to act for you if you are an Executor or Administrator has the following advantages: –

1. It reduces the distress of dealing with the property and assets of a close relative or friend.

2. A solicitor advises on whether or not Inheritance Tax is payable and if so, how and when it must be paid. Inheritance Tax is complicated and in most cases you will need specialist legal advice. A solicitor will complete the lengthy inheritance tax return.

3. Financial institutions have different requirements to be met before they will release the deceased’s assets. A solicitor will be familiar with these procedures.

4. Administering an estate can be lengthy and complicated. A solicitor will be used to the complexity and be able to commit the time needed to sort out the estate.

5. A solicitor can deal not only with Inheritance Tax but also with income tax and capital gains tax arising during the administration of the estate, for which tax returns are required.

To discuss this and to obtain more information contact:
Emily Payne at Dickins Hopgood Chidley Solicitors,
The Old School House, 42 High Street, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0NF 01488 683555

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