Charlton leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Charlton. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Charlton - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have since found out that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Charlton. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Charlton are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Charlton in which case you should be looking for a Charlton conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to conduct alterations. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will report to you on the legal implications.
I am looking at a two maisonettes in Charlton which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Charlton. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. This is why it is generally wise to increase the term of the lease. It is often difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage companies may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We advise that you get professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Charlton. Do I have any liability for 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 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).
I am employed by a busy estate agent office in Charlton where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Charlton conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer need not have to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or simultaneously with completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible 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.
After months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Charlton. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
in cases 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 Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the amount due.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Charlton residence is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case related to 2 flats. The unexpired lease term was 72 years.