Experts for Leasehold Conveyancing in Bowes Park

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Recently asked questions relating to Bowes Park leasehold conveyancing

I have just started marketing my ground floor apartment in Bowes Park.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

The sensible thing to do is clear 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.

Back In 2004, I bought a leasehold house in Bowes Park. Conveyancing and Halifax mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing solicitor in Bowes Park who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?

First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Bowes Park conveyancing firm to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Bowes Park. 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. Strange as it may seem, 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 provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Bowes Park from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Bowes Park can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers conveyancers.
  • The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Bowes Park charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. 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 Bowes Park.
  • If you have carried out any alterations to the residence would they have required Landlord’s approval? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Bowes Park leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring calls for a licence from the Landlord acquiescing to such changes. Where you fail to have the approvals to hand do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer first.
  • A minority of Bowes Park leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. The bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The purchasers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is better to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.

  • If all goes to plan we aim to complete the sale of our £500000 maisonette in Bowes Park on Friday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Bowes Park?

    Bowes Park conveyancing on leasehold flats normally involves the buyer’s conveyancer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions most will be willing to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of rights and obligations in respect of administration fees, without which the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to sell the property.

    I have tried to negotiate informally with with my landlord to extend my lease without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal decide on such matters? Can you recommend a Bowes Park conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

    in cases where there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the LVT to determine the price.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Bowes Park premises is First Floor Flat 109 Lyndhurst Road in May 2010. Following a vesting order by Edmonton County Court on 29th October 2009 the Tribunal decided on a figure of £5,012 for a lease extension. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 81.79 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Bowes Park