Questions and Answers: Golders Green leasehold conveyancing
I have just appointed agents to market my 2 bed flat in Golders Green.Conveyancing is yet to be initiated but I have just received a yearly service charge invoice – Do I pay up?
The sensible thing to do is discharge the service charge 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 management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless 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. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
Back In 2003, I bought a leasehold house in Golders Green. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the freehold. It included a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1996. The conveyancing solicitor in Golders Green who previously acted has long since retired.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to incur the fees of a Golders Green conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for less than a fiver. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Golders Green. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
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. It is an essential part 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 work for a busy estate agent office in Golders Green where we have experienced a number of leasehold sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Golders Green conveyancing firms. Can you confirm whether the seller of a flat can instigate the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 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.
Alternatively, it may be possible to agree the lease extension with the freeholder 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.
Can you provide any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Golders Green from the perspective of speeding up the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Golders Green can be reduced where you get in touch lawyers as soon as your agents start marketing the property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ representatives.
- Many landlords or managing agents in Golders Green charge for providing management packs for a leasehold homes. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the fee that they propose to charge. The management pack sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The typical amount of time it takes to obtain the necessary information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Golders Green.
After years of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Golders Green. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Golders Green conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Golders Green premises is Flat A 372 Cricklewood Lane in January 2013. The Tribunal decided that the premium for the extended lease should be £5,750.00 and that the terms of the new lease should be those set out in annex to the decsion This case affected 1 flat.