Top Five Questions relating to Cheam leasehold conveyancing
Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Cheam. Before I get started I would like to find out the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and most are in Cheam - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Cheam. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation 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. 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 am employed by a reputable estate agency in Cheam where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local Cheam conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a Cheam conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Cheam conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Cheam conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions could be of use:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
Having spent years of correspondence we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Cheam. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
in cases where there is a missing freeholder or where there is dispute 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 sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Cheam residence is 33 The Maisonettes Alberta Avenue in June 2014. the Tribunal decided that the premium payable for the grant of a new lease be the sum of £20,680 (Twenty Thousand six hundred and eighty pounds). This case affected 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 60.43 years.
What makes a Cheam lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Cheam. Most leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- A duty to insure the building
- 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 could encounter difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Aldermore all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease is problematic they may refuse to provide security, forcing the purchaser to pull out.