Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Covent Garden
I’m about to sell my ground floor apartment in Covent Garden.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you 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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears 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 am assuming that there are issues buying a house with a leasehold title in Covent Garden. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Covent Garden are freehold rather than 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. We note that you are buying in Covent Garden in which case you should be looking for a Covent Garden conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the number of years remaining. As a tenant you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions such as requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a service charge towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.
I own a leasehold flat in Covent Garden. Conveyancing and Santander mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Covent Garden who previously acted has long since retired.Do I pay?
First contact the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Covent Garden conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
I am looking at a two maisonettes in Covent Garden which have in the region of 50 years remaining on the leases. should I be concerned?
There are plenty of short leases in Covent Garden. The lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease gets shorter the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. Sometimes it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage companies may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you get professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this field
I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Covent Garden where we have witnessed a few flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Covent Garden conveyancing solicitors. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as 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. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
I own a garden flat in Covent Garden. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a absentee landlord or if there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to decide the price payable.
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 affected 1 flat. The the number of years remaining on the existing lease(s) was 73.26 years.