Addington leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Addington. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 reputable estate agency in Addington where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Addington conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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 advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Addington conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Addington conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Addington conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the sale of our £325000 maisonette in Addington in 10 days. The landlords agents has quoted £348 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Addington?
Addington conveyancing on leasehold flats often necessitates the purchaser’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to respond to such questions most will be content to do so. They are entitled charge a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the invoice is technically not due. In reality you have no option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to complete the sale of your home.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Addington conveyancing firm to assist?
in cases where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to judgment on the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Addington flat is 26 Manor Road in July 2010. the Tribunal decided that price to be paid for the freehold was £12,420 This case affected 2 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 76.75 and 88.83.
Are there frequently found deficiencies that you come across in leases for Addington properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Addington. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain clauses are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- 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
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, Virgin Money, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.