Top Five Questions relating to Greenford leasehold conveyancing
Looking forward to sign contracts shortly on a basement flat in Greenford. Conveyancing lawyers assured me that they report fully tomorrow. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Greenford should include some of the following:
- The length of the lease term You should be advised as what happens when the lease ends, and informed of the importance of not letting the lease term falling below eighty years
I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Greenford.Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed but I have just had a quarterly maintenance charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
Your conveyancing lawyer is likely to suggest that you should clear 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. This will smooth the conveyancing process.
I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two maisonettes in Greenford both have in the region of fifty years unexpired on the lease term. should I be concerned?
There are no two ways about it. A leasehold flat in Greenford 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 property. The majority of purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 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 premises 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 premises 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 Greenford conveyancing experts who will explain the options available to you during an initial telephone conversation free of charge. More often than not it is possible to negotiate informally with the freeholder to extend the lease They may agree to a smaller lump sum and an increase in the ground rent, but to shorter extension terms in return. You need to ensure that the agreed 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.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Greenford. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
In a situation 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 long established estate agent office in Greenford where we see a few leasehold sales derailed due to short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Greenford conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the vendor of a flat can start the lease extension formalities for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as 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. This means that the buyer can avoid having 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 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 buyer.
After months of correspondence we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Greenford. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?
in cases where there is a absentee landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to calculate the price.
An example of a lease Extension matter before the tribunal for a Greenford residence is 25 Beechwood Avenue in November 2012. the Tribunal accordingly determined that the premium for the lease extension should be £24,353. This case was in relation to 1 flat. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 58.19 years.