Questions and Answers: Crossness leasehold conveyancing
I have just started marketing my garden flat in Crossness.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear the service charge 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold flat in Crossness. Conveyancing and The Mortgage Works mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1991. The conveyancing practitioner in Crossness who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is indeed the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Crossness conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that in any event, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Crossness both have in the region of 50 years remaining on the lease term. Will this present a problem?
There are plenty of short leases in Crossness. The lease is a right to use the property for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the value of the lease reduces and results in it becoming more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We recommend you seek professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this field
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Crossness. 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 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 Crossness where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Crossness conveyancing firms. Could you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. 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.
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 inherited a two-bedroom flat in Crossness. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the sum due for a lease extension?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes it is possible to make an application to the LVT to assess the sum to be paid.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Crossness flat is Various @ Colombus Square in January 2012. the Tribunal calculated the premiums to be paid for new leases for each of the flats in Mariners Walk to be £3822 and the premium to be paid for the new lease of 2 Knights Court to be £4439. This case related to 13 flats. The unexpired term was 76 years.