Questions and Answers: Greenwich leasehold conveyancing
I am on look out for some leasehold conveyancing in Greenwich. Before I get started I would like to find out the remaining lease term.
If the lease is registered - and most are in Greenwich - 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 only have 72 years left on my flat in Greenwich. I now want to get lease extension but my freeholder is can not be found. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to prove that you have used your best endeavours to track down the lessor. On the whole a specialist may be useful to conduct investigations and to produce a report which can be accepted by the court as proof that the landlord is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s absence and the vesting order request to the County Court overseeing Greenwich.
Back In 2006, I bought a leasehold house in Greenwich. Conveyancing and Birmingham Midshires mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1998. The conveyancing practitioner in Greenwich who acted for me is not around.Any advice?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the new freeholder. It is not necessary to instruct a Greenwich conveyancing firm to do this as it can be done on-line for a few pound. You should note that regardless, even if this is the legitimate freeholder, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.
I am looking at a couple of apartments in Greenwich both have about 50 years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?
There is no doubt about it. A leasehold flat in Greenwich is a wasting asset as a result of the shortening lease. The closer the lease gets to its expiry date, the more it reduces the marketability of the property. For most purchasers and mortgage companies, leases with less than 75 years become less and less marketable. 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 a residence 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 Greenwich 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 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 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.
I am the registered owner of a ground floor flat in Greenwich. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount due for the purchase of the freehold?
Where there is a missing landlord or if 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 LVT to determine the premium.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Greenwich residence is 73 Walerand Road in August 2012. the result of the findings of the Tribunal led to a premium to be paid for the extended lease in respect of Flat 73 in the sum of £10,040. The premium applicable in respect of Flat 85 was £5,710. This case affected 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 72 years.
What makes a Greenwich lease unacceptable for security purposes?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Greenwich. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can result in certain sections are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:
- Repairing obligations to or maintain elements of the premises
- A duty to insure the building
- Clauses dealing with recovering service charges for expenditure on the building or common parts.
- Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall
A defective lease will likely cause problems when trying to sell a property as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Virgin Money, and Alliance & Leicester all have express conveyancing instructions when it comes to what is expected in a lease. Where a lender has been advised by their lawyers that the lease does not cover certain provisions they may refuse to provide security, obliging the buyer to withdraw.