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Questions and Answers: Emerson Park leasehold conveyancing

I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Emerson Park. Before I set the wheels in motion I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.

Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and 99.9% are in Emerson Park - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.

I own a leasehold flat in Emerson Park. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1993. The conveyancing practitioner in Emerson Park who acted for me is not around.What should I do?

The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to be sure that the individual purporting to own the freehold is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. There is no need to incur the fees of a Emerson Park conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

I've recently bought a leasehold house in Emerson Park. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before 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. 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 busy estate agency in Emerson Park where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have received contradictory information from local Emerson Park conveyancing firms. Can you shed some light as to whether the seller of a flat can instigate 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 kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. The benefit of this is that the proposed purchaser need not have to wait 2 years to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.

Alternatively, it may be possible 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 purchaser.

Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Emerson Park from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Emerson Park can be avoided if you appoint lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and ask them to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers representatives.
  • The majority landlords or Management Companies in Emerson Park charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should find out the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Emerson Park.
  • Some Emerson Park leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this is the case, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is financially capable of paying the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
  • If there is a history of conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may have to bite the bullet and pay any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose details of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over as opposed to unresolved.
  • You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but you should double-check by asking your conveyancers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to to exchange contracts if the lease term is under 75 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale.

  • After months of dialogue we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Emerson Park. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

    Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Emerson Park conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Emerson Park residence is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 57.5 years.

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Emerson Park