Common questions relating to Denmark Hill leasehold conveyancing
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to be perfect, at a reasonable price which is making it more attractive. I have just been informed that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns purchasing a leasehold house in Denmark Hill. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be appointed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Denmark Hill are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor who is familiar with the area can help the conveyancing process. We note that you are purchasing in Denmark Hill in which case you should be looking for a Denmark Hill conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a leaseholder you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example obtaining the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. It may be necessary to pay a maintenance charge towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your solicitor will report to you on the legal implications.
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Denmark Hill. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee 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. A critical element 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 work for a long established estate agent office in Denmark Hill where we see a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have received conflicting advice from local Denmark Hill conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can commence the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that 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. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to wait 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 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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Denmark Hill conveyancing firm to deal with our lease extension?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Denmark Hill conveyancing firm) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Denmark Hill conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How familiar is the practice with lease extension legislation?
Notwithstanding our best endeavours, we have been unsuccessful in trying to purchase the freehold in Denmark Hill. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Denmark Hill conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement decision for a Denmark Hill premises is 66 Southwell Road in March 2012. By Order of Deputy District Judge Stone dated 25 January 2012 a vesting order was made. The determination of the purchase price was referred to the Tribunal who decided that the amount payable for the freehold should be£29,612.00 This case affected 3 flats. The remaining number of years on the lease was 72.58 years.
In relation to leasehold conveyancing in Denmark Hill what are the most common lease problems?
Leasehold conveyancing in Denmark Hill is not unique. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain provisions are erroneous. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the property
- 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
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. Nationwide Building Society, Skipton Building Society, and Britannia all have express requirements 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 grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to pull out.