Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Brimsdown:

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Brimsdown leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I have just started marketing my basement flat in Brimsdown.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?

Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the service charge 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 unless 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.

I own a leasehold house in Brimsdown. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Brimsdown who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Brimsdown conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Brimsdown which have about forty five years left on the lease term. Will this present a problem?

There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Brimsdown is a deteriorating asset as a result of the shortening lease. The nearer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it reduces the salability of the premises. The majority of buyers and banks, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property 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 property 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 Brimsdown 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.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Brimsdown. 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. 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 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).

Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Brimsdown from the point of view of speeding up the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Brimsdown can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers lawyers.
  • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? Have you, for example installed wooden flooring? Most leases in Brimsdown state that internal structural alterations or laying down wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such works. Where you dont have the approvals in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer first.
  • A minority of Brimsdown leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the buyers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be warry about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unresolved. You will have to accept that you will have to 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 prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as historic rather than unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Obtaining a replacement share certificate is often a lengthy process and slows down many a Brimsdown home move. If a new share is needed, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (if applicable) for this as soon as possible.

  • Having spent months of dialogue we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Brimsdown. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Brimsdown conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Vesting Order and Purchase of freehold case for a Brimsdown property is Ground Floor Flat 4A Baronet Road in February 2010. Following a vesting order by Edmonton County Court on 23rd December 2008 (case number 8ED064) the Tribunal decided that the price that the Applicant for the freehold interest should pay is £8,689.00 This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 80.01 years.