Questions and Answers: Bexley leasehold conveyancing
There are only 72 years left on my lease in Bexley. I now wish to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What should I do?
If you qualify, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the magistrate. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to track down the landlord. On the whole a specialist may be useful to try and locate and prepare a report to be used as proof that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Bexley.
I have just started marketing my ground floor flat in Bexley.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
It best that you pay the invoice 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 found a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have since been informed that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Bexley. Conveyancing advisers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Bexley ?
Most houses in Bexley are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are buying in Bexley in which case you should be looking for a Bexley conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they have experience in transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the landlord’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor should appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Bexley. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element 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 the registered owner of a a ground floor purpose built flat in Bexley. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Bexley conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Bexley premises is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case was in relation to 1 flat.
When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Bexley what are the most common lease problems?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Bexley. All leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Birmingham Midshires, Skipton Building Society, and Clydesdale all have very detailed requirements 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 purchaser to withdraw.