Deptford leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years unexpired on my lease in Deptford. I need to get lease extension but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be granted an extra 90 years by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a conveyancer in relation to proving the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court covering Deptford.
I have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Deptford.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a quarterly maintenance charge demand – what should I do?
The sensible thing to do is discharge 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 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Deptford. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the reversionary interest in the property. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing practitioner in Deptford who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Deptford conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. Rest assured that in any event, even if this is the legitimate 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 flats in Deptford which have in the region of forty five years left on the leases. Will this present a problem?
A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a period of time. As a lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is generally wise to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease because mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you seek professional help from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this area
I've recently bought a leasehold house in Deptford. Do I have any liability for 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 am the leaseholder of a garden flat in Deptford. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal determine the amount due for a lease extension?
in cases where there is a absentee freeholder or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation you can apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to arrive at the price payable.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Deptford flat is 41 Endwell Road in March 2013. this matter relateed to the acquisition of the freehold of a mid- terraced Victorian house converted into three separate self-contained dwellings. By an order dated 28/11/2012, Deputy District Judge Cole in the Bromley County Court held that the leaseholders were entitled to acquire the freehold and directed that the premium payable be determined by this Tribunal. The Tribunal assessed the premium to be £14,753 This case was in relation to 3 flats. The unexpired term was 80.01 years.