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Creekmouth leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

Back In 2005, I bought a leasehold house in Creekmouth. Conveyancing and Norwich and Peterborough Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing solicitor in Creekmouth 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 the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to instruct a Creekmouth conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for a few pound. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am looking at a couple of flats in Creekmouth both have about forty five years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?

There is no doubt about it. A leasehold apartment in Creekmouth is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the marketability of the premises. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with under eighty years become less and less marketable. On a more upbeat note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of premises with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Creekmouth conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that the agreed terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.

I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Creekmouth. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. 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).

I am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Creekmouth where we have witnessed a few flat sales derailed as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received inconsistent advice from local Creekmouth conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can initiate 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 can avoid having to wait 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 disposal of the property.

An alternative approach is 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 buyer.

We have reached the end of our tether in trying to reach an agreement for a lease extension in Creekmouth. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?

Where there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about what the lease extension should cost, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the LVT to arrive at the price payable.

An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Creekmouth flat is 46 Credon Road in January 2014. On 11 September 2013 Deputy District Judge Price sitting at the Bow County Court made a vesting order that the freeholder surrender his lease and be granted a new lease of the Premises on such terms as may be determined by the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).The appropriate sum as concluded by the Tribunal was £7225 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 69.77 years.

In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Creekmouth what are the most frequent lease defects?

Leasehold conveyancing in Creekmouth is not unique. Most leases are individual and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are wrong. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
  • A duty to insure the building
  • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale 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 is defective they may refuse to provide security, obliging the purchaser to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Creekmouth