Common questions relating to Chessington leasehold conveyancing
I today plan to offer on a house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have just found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Chessington. Conveyancing lawyers have are soon to be appointed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Chessington ?
The majority of houses in Chessington are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Chessington in which case you should be looking for a Chessington conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. Being a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Chessington. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
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 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 long established estate agency in Chessington where we see a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Chessington conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can start the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 buyer can avoid having to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Chessington conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Chessington conveyancing practice) it is most important that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We suggested that you talk with several firms including non Chessington conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions could be of use:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
Completion in due on the disposal of our £350000 apartment in Chessington in nine days. The landlords agents has quoted £336 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge an administration fee for a flat conveyance in Chessington?
Chessington conveyancing on leasehold flats normally requires the purchaser’s conveyancer sending questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer such questions the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty invoice a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it exceeds £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Having spent months of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Chessington. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is disagreement about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to judgment on the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Chessington flat is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case related to 1 flat.