Common questions relating to Finchley leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Finchley. Before I get started I require certainty as to the remaining lease term.
Assuming the lease is registered - and almost all are in Finchley - then the leasehold title will always include the short particulars 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.
My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Finchley. Conveyancing and Virgin Money 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 1997. The conveyancing solicitor in Finchley who acted for me is not around.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of the Land Registry to be sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to instruct a Finchley conveyancing solicitor to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that in any event, even if this is the rightful freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Finchley. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to 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 reputable estate agency in Finchley where we have experienced a number of flat sales jeopardised due to short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Finchley conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities 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 buyer 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 simultaneously with 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.
If all goes to plan we aim to complete the disposal of our £175000 garden flat in Finchley in just under a week. The management company has quoted £300 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge an administration fee for a leasehold conveyance in Finchley?
Finchley conveyancing on leasehold apartments often involves the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to address these enquiries the majority will be content to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The management information fee levied by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, otherwise the invoice is not strictly payable. Reality however dictates that one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.
I have had difficulty in trying to purchase the freehold in Finchley. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on premiums?
Where there is a absentee landlord or where there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to calculate the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Finchley premises is Ground Floor 110 Station Road in June 2013. The Tribunal found that the premium payable for a lease extension should be £31,665. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 56.65 years.