Questions and Answers: Childs Hill leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Childs Hill. Before I set the wheels in motion I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Childs Hill - 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 have just appointed agents to market my garden flat in Childs Hill.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a half-yearly service charge demand – what should I do?
It best that you 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 unless 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 tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Childs Hill which have about forty five years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Childs Hill is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. The majority of purchasers and banks, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of a residence with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Childs Hill conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Childs Hill. 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 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. A critical element 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 long established estate agency in Childs Hill where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Childs Hill conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the buyer?
As long as the seller has owned the lease 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 proposed purchaser can avoid having 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 prior to, or at the same time as 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.
I have had difficulty in negotiating a lease extension in Childs Hill. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Childs Hill conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Childs Hill property is Flat A 372 Cricklewood Lane in January 2013. The Tribunal decided that the premium for the extended lease should be £5,750.00 and that the terms of the new lease should be those set out in annex to the decsion This case affected 1 flat.