Questions and Answers: Charterhouse leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Charterhouse. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Charterhouse should include some of the following:
- Details of the parties to the lease, for example these could be the leaseholder (you), head lessor, freeholder
I have just started marketing my basement flat in Charterhouse.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is clear the invoice as normal because all ground rent and service charges will be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the buyer for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Charterhouse. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Charterhouse ?
The majority of houses in Charterhouse are freehold and not 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 Charterhouse so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Charterhouse conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee 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’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
I work for a reputable estate agency in Charterhouse where we have experienced a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Charterhouse conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.
What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Charterhouse conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Charterhouse conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you speak with two or three firms including non Charterhouse conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be useful:
- What volume of lease extensions has the firm conducted in Charterhouse in the last year?
After years of dialogue we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Charterhouse. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
in cases where there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the LVT to arrive at the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Charterhouse residence is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 66.8 years.