Questions and Answers: Covent Garden leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to complete next month on a leasehold property in Covent Garden. Conveyancing solicitors inform me that they report fully tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Covent Garden should include some of the following:
- How long the lease is You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and aware of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
Back In 2008, I bought a leasehold house in Covent Garden. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Covent Garden who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Covent Garden conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Covent Garden which have in the region of fifty years remaining on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the property for a period of time. As a lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease deteriorate and it becomes more costly to extend the lease. This is why it is often a good idea to increase the term of the lease. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders less inclined to grant a loan on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a difficult process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Covent Garden. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
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. 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 have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without success. Can one apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Covent Garden conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Covent Garden conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Covent Garden flat is 20 Avonwick Road in July 2013. The Tribunal was dealing with an application under Section 26 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 for a determination of the freehold value of the property. It was concluded that the price to be paid was Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy (£15,970) divided as to £8,200 for Flat 20 and £7,770 for Flat 20A This case related to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 73.26 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Covent Garden what are the most common lease defects?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Covent Garden. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the building
- Insurance obligations
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause issues when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Halifax, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society, and Platform Home Loans Ltd all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to pull out.