Top Five Questions relating to Bickley leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 72 years remaining on my flat in Bickley. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is missing. What are my options?
On the basis that 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 enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to prove that you or your lawyers have done all that could be expected to find the landlord. In some cases a specialist would be useful to conduct investigations and prepare an expert document which can be used as evidence that the freeholder can not be located. It is advisable to get professional help from a conveyancer in relation to devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Bickley.
Due to exchange soon on a leasehold property in Bickley. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they will have a report out to me on Monday. What should I be looking out for?
Your report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Bickley should include some of the following:
- You should be sent a copy of the lease
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Bickley. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Bickley who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Bickley conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Bickley. 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 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 have given up trying to purchase the freehold in Bickley. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a missing landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to assess the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Bickley residence is 1 Southlands Court Southlands Road in September 2013. The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal determined that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was £30,541 This case affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 50.57 years.
What are the common defects that you encounter in leases for Bickley properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Bickley. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the building
- A duty to insure the building
- 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
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Britannia 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.