Questions and Answers: Brompton leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor flat in Brompton.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge demand – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is 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 management companies 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.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently discovered that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Brompton. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Brompton are freehold and not 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 apparent that you are purchasing in Brompton in which case you should be looking for a Brompton conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer will appraise you on the various issues.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Brompton. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
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. 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).
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Brompton conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Brompton conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you speak with two or three firms including non Brompton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How experienced is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Brompton with the intention of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Brompton can be reduced where you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the buyers solicitors.
- The majority freeholders or Management Companies in Brompton levy fees for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Brompton.
Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in seeking a lease extension in Brompton. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to assess the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Brompton premises is Flat 3 47 Cadogan Square in December 2010. the Tribunal determined that the premium payable to the landord by the leaseholder for the lease extension was £732,935 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 13.33 years.