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Top Five Questions relating to Beckton leasehold conveyancing

Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold flat in Beckton. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough 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. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing practitioner in Beckton who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Beckton conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am attracted to a two apartments in Beckton which have about fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Beckton is a deteriorating asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the property. The majority of buyers and lenders, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the premises for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Beckton conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Beckton. 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. It is an essential part 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).

What are your top tips when it comes to choosing a Beckton conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?

If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Beckton conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Beckton conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:

  • How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
  • Can they put you in touch with client in Beckton who can give a testimonial?

  • Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Beckton from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Beckton can be reduced if you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold information needed by the purchasers’ solicitors.
    • Many freeholders or managing agents in Beckton charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Beckton.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in Beckton state that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord approving such works. If you fail to have the consents to hand do not contact the landlord without contacting your conveyancer before hand.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the Management Company, you should make sure that you have the original share document. Arranging a duplicate share certificate can be a lengthy formality and slows down many a Beckton conveyancing transaction. If a new share is necessary, you should approach the company officers or managing agents (where applicable) for this as soon as possible.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years left on your lease but it would be advisable double-check via your solicitors. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the remaining number of years is less than 75 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you consider whether the lease for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Beckton conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Beckton conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Beckton property 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 unexpired residue of the current lease was 69.77 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Beckton