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Archway leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Archway. Before diving in I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in Archway - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Archway. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Archway are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Archway so you should seriously consider looking for a Archway conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’sconsent to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.

Back In 2008, I bought a leasehold house in Archway. Conveyancing and Coventry Building Society mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Archway who acted for me is not around.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Archway conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Archway conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Archway conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Archway conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be helpful:

  • If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
  • What volume of lease extensions have they carried out in Archway in the last year?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Archway with the aim of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Archway can be bypassed if you instruct lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers conveyancers.
    • If you have carried out any alterations to the property would they have required Landlord’s permission? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Archway state that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring require a licence issued by the Landlord approving such alterations. Where you fail to have the paperwork in place you should not contact the landlord without checking with your solicitor in the first instance.
  • Some Archway leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers obtain bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you have the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a time consuming process and slows down many a Archway conveyancing transaction. If a new share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (if applicable) for this at the earliest opportunity.
  • You believe that you know the number of years left on your lease but you should double-check via your conveyancers. A purchaser's lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the remaining number of years is under 80 years. It is therefore essential at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your premises on the market for sale.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Archway conveyancing firm to help?

    if there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to determine the amount due.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Archway flat is Flat 2A 19 Shepherds Hill in June 2014. The tribunal concluded in accordance with section 48 and schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act (the 1993 Act) that the premium payable in respect of the grant of a new lease for the Flat be £24,303 (twenty four thousand three hundred and three pounds) This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 67.85 years.