Leasehold Conveyancing in Foots Cray - Get a Quote from the leasehold experts approved by your lender

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Questions and Answers: Foots Cray leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Foots Cray. Before diving in I require certainty as to the number of years remaining on the lease.

Assuming the lease is registered - and 99.9% are in Foots Cray - 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've recently bought a leasehold flat in Foots Cray. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?

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. 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 work for a busy estate agency in Foots Cray where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Foots Cray conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can start 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 commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years to extend their lease. 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.

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 buyer.

Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Foots Cray from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Foots Cray can be bypassed where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers representatives.
  • Many freeholders or managing agents in Foots Cray charge for providing management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most frequent cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Foots Cray.
  • A minority of Foots Cray leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are 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 service charge figures so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If there is a history of any disputes with your landlord or managing agents it is essential that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The purchasers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may need to swallow your pride and discharge any arrears of service charge or settle 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 will still have to reveal details of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as historic as opposed to unresolved.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you hold the original share document. Organising a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy process and delays many a Foots Cray home move. If a duplicate share certificate is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this sooner rather than later.

  • I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord to extend my lease without any joy. Can I make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a Foots Cray conveyancing firm to assist?

    Most certainly. We are happy to put you in touch with a Foots Cray conveyancing firm who can help.

    An example of a Lease Extension case for a Foots Cray property is 103a Footscray Road in January 2014. The tribunal determines that the premium payable for the extended lease should be £34,500 according to the expert witness valuation calculation This case was in relation to 1 flat.

    Are there common problems that you see in leases for Foots Cray properties?

    There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Foots Cray. All leases are unique and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain sections are missing. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

    • A provision to repair to or maintain elements of the premises
    • Insurance obligations
    • A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
    • 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 as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. HSBC Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the buyer to withdraw.