Top Five Questions relating to Chadwell Heath leasehold conveyancing
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Chadwell Heath. Conveyancing and HSBC Bank mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Chadwell Heath who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Chadwell Heath conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Chadwell Heath. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. 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 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 work for a long established estate agency in Chadwell Heath where we see a few flat sales derailed due to short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Chadwell Heath conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.
Do you have any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Chadwell Heath from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chadwell Heath can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
- A minority of Chadwell Heath leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to notify your estate agents to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the yearly 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 purchasers or their solicitors.
Despite our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Chadwell Heath. Can this matter be resolved via the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Chadwell Heath conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Chadwell Heath residence is 49 Aldborough Road South in July 2012. The Tribunal decided that the premium payable for the grant of the new lease was £13,925 This case affected 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 61.36 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Chadwell Heath what are the most common lease defects?
Leasehold conveyancing in Chadwell Heath is not unique. All leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the property
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You may have difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Halifax, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to withdraw.