Recently asked questions relating to Blackwall leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Sixty One years unexpired on my flat in Blackwall. I am keen to extend my lease but my landlord is absent. What options are available to me?
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 enable the lease to be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you or your lawyers have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. On the whole an enquiry agent may be helpful to conduct investigations and to produce an expert document which can be used as proof that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Blackwall.
Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold house in Blackwall. Conveyancing and Birmingham Midshires mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1995. The conveyancing practitioner in Blackwall who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Blackwall conveyancing practitioner to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold house in Blackwall. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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 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).
Can you offer any advice when it comes to appointing a Blackwall conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Blackwall conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non Blackwall conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then what is the reason?
Following years of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Blackwall. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Most definitely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Blackwall conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Blackwall premises is 12, 14 & 16 Hull Close in May 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the acquisition of the freehold to the subject premises was the sum of £18,300 This case related to 3 flats. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 101.61 years.
What makes a Blackwall lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Blackwall. Most leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts 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 will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Virgin Money, and Clydesdale all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.