Recently asked questions relating to Belgravia leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Belgravia. Before I get started I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Belgravia - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details 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've found a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Belgravia. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Belgravia are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are buying in Belgravia in which case you should be shopping around for a Belgravia conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a two apartments in Belgravia both have approximately forty five years unexpired on the lease term. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Belgravia is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the marketability of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with less than 75 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 premises 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 Belgravia conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Belgravia. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to finding a Belgravia conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Belgravia conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you speak with several firms including non Belgravia conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Belgravia who can give a testimonial?
I am the proprietor of a garden flat in Belgravia. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium payable for the purchase of the freehold?
Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Belgravia conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Belgravia property is Flat 3 47 Cadogan Square in December 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable to the landord by the leaseholder for the lease extension was £732,935 This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 13.33 years.