Questions and Answers: Chislehurst leasehold conveyancing
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Chislehurst. Conveyancing lawyers have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the implications of buying a leasehold house in Chislehurst ?
The majority of houses in Chislehurst are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Chislehurst in which case you should be shopping around for a Chislehurst conveyancing solicitor and check that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example obtaining the freeholder’spermission to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is located on an estate. Your lawyer will advise you fully on all the issues.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold house in Chislehurst. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Chislehurst who previously acted has now retired.Any advice?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Chislehurst conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Chislehurst. 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 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. 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).
We expect to complete the disposal of our £300000 apartment in Chislehurst in just under a week. The landlords agents has quoted £360 for Certificate of Compliance, insurance certificate and previous years service charge statements. Is the landlord entitled to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Chislehurst?
Chislehurst conveyancing on leasehold maisonettes normally necessitates the buyer’s conveyancer submitting enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address such questions the majority will be willing to do so. They are entitled invoice a reasonable administration fee for answering enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it is above £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be sent together with a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the charge is not strictly payable. In reality one has no option but to pay whatever is demanded should you wish to exchange contracts with the buyer.
Having spent months of negotiations we are unable to agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Chislehurst. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
You certainly can. We are happy to put you in touch with a Chislehurst conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Chislehurst property is 70 Andace Park Gardens 133-149 Widmore Road in November 2013. Tribunal determined that the premium payable for the lease extension was £10,052 This case affected 1 flat. The unexpired term was 72 years.
What makes a Chislehurst lease problematic?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Chislehurst. All leases are individual and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain sections are not included. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- Insurance obligations
- 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
A defective lease can cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Britannia all have very detailed conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.