Top Five Questions relating to Grahame Park leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in Grahame Park. Before diving in I want to be sure as to the unexpired term of the lease.
If the lease is recorded at the land registry - and most are in Grahame 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.
Estate agents have just been given the go-ahead to market my 2 bed flat in Grahame Park.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just received a half-yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
It best that you pay 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 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.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two flats in Grahame Park both have in the region of 50 years unexpired on the leases. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold apartment in Grahame Park is a wasting asset as a result of the reducing lease term. The closer the lease gets to zero years unexpired, the more it adversely affects the value of the premises. For most purchasers and banks, leases with under 75 years become less and less attractive. On a more positive note, leaseholders can extend their leases by serving a Section 42 Notice. One stipulation is that they must have owned the property for two years (unlike a Section 13 notice for purchasing the freehold, when leaseholders can participate from day one of ownership). When successful, they will have the right to an extension of 90 years to the current term and ground rent is effectively reduced to zero. Before moving forward with a purchase of property with a short lease term remaining you should talk to a solicitor specialising in lease extensions and leasehold enfranchisement. We are are happy to put you in touch with Grahame Park conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. A more straightforward and quicker method of extending would be to contact your landlord directly and sound him out on the prospect of extending the lease You may find he or she is happy to negotiate informally and willing to consider your offer straight off, without having to involve anyone else. This will save you time and money and it could help you reach a lower price on the lease. You need to ensure that any new terms represent good long-term value compared with the standard benefits of the Section 42 Notice and that onerous clauses are not inserted into any redrafting of the lease.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Grahame Park. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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 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 agency in Grahame Park where we see a number of flat sales derailed due to leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given conflicting advice from local Grahame Park conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
Provided that the seller has owned the lease 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 proposed purchaser 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 before, 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.
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without getting anywhere. Can the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal adjudicate on such matters? Can you recommend a Grahame Park conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a Grahame Park conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a Grahame Park property is 1 & 1A Sunningfields Crescent in September 2013. The Tribunals calculation of the amount to be paid into court in respect of the value of the freehold interest is £11,997 in respect of Flat 1 and £15,781 in respect of Flat 1A for a total of £27,778. This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 71.5 years.