East Beckton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in East Beckton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you discharge the service charge 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 managing agents 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in East Beckton. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
I am a negotiator for a long established estate agency in East Beckton where we see a number of flat sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local East Beckton conveyancing solicitors. Could you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 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 disposal of the property.
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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a East Beckton conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a East Beckton conveyancing firm) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non East Beckton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be helpful:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can one make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a East Beckton conveyancing firm to represent me?
in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to judgment on the price payable.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a East Beckton residence is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case related to 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 69.77 years.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in East Beckton what are the most frequent lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in East Beckton. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain provisions are not included. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
You may encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.