Top Five Questions relating to Colney Hatch leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Colney Hatch. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Colney Hatch - 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 am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a great figure which is making it all the more appealing. I have just discovered that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Colney Hatch. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?
Most houses in Colney Hatch are freehold rather than leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. It is clear that you are purchasing in Colney Hatch so you should seriously consider shopping around for a Colney Hatch conveyancing solicitor and be sure that they are used to dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the landlord’sconsent to conduct alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance 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 Colney Hatch. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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. 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Colney Hatch where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Colney Hatch conveyancing firms. Please can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?
Provided that 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 buyer need not have 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 sale.
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 purchaser.
What are your top tips when it comes to finding a Colney Hatch conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Colney Hatch conveyancing practice) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Colney Hatch conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- How many lease extensions have they carried out in Colney Hatch in the last year?
Having spent months of correspondence we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Colney Hatch. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Colney Hatch conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Colney Hatch property is 90 & 96 Poplar Grove in June 2013. It was held by the Tribunal that the premium to be paid for the new lease in respect of each of the flats referred should be £17,942 This case was in relation to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 68 years.