Frequently asked questions relating to Chinatown leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my ground floor apartment in Chinatown.Conveyancing has not commenced but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – what should I do?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should pay the invoice 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 managing agents will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great price which is making it all the more appealing. I have subsequently been informed that the title is leasehold rather than freehold. I would have thought that there are issues purchasing a leasehold house in Chinatown. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in Chinatown ?
The majority of houses in Chinatown are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Chinatown in which case you should be looking for a Chinatown conveyancing practitioner and check that they are used to advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is located on an estate. Your solicitor will advise you fully on all the issues.
I am attracted to a couple of maisonettes in Chinatown both have approximately fifty years left on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the marketability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area
What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Chinatown conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a property lawyer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Chinatown conveyancing firm) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We advise that you talk with several firms including non Chinatown conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown from the perspective of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ lawyers.
- Many landlords or managing agents in Chinatown charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for delay in leasehold conveyancing in Chinatown.
I own a first flat in Chinatown. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a missing freeholder or if there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to assess the premium.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Chinatown property is 36 New Wanstead in August 2010. The Tribunal arrived at a valuation of the premium for the freehold of £22,359. This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 73.92 years.