Examples of recent questions relating to leasehold conveyancing in Greenwich
I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that seems to tick a lot of boxes, at a reasonable figure which is making it more attractive. I have since discovered that it's a leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are issues buying a leasehold house in Greenwich. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?
The majority of houses in Greenwich are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are buying in Greenwich in which case you should be looking for a Greenwich conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. Being a leaseholder you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions for example requiring the freeholder’sconsent to carry out alterations. You may also be required to pay a service charge towards the upkeep of the estate where the property is part of an estate. Your solicitor will appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Greenwich. 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. However, 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 am a negotiator for a reputable estate agent office in Greenwich where we see a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given contradictory information from local Greenwich conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the seller of a flat can start 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 commence 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 to extend their lease. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done prior to, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
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.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Greenwich conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Greenwich conveyancing practice) it is imperative that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you make enquires with several firms including non Greenwich conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be helpful:
- Can they put you in touch with client in Greenwich who can give a testimonial?
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Greenwich from the point of view of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the delay in leasehold conveyancing in Greenwich can be avoided where you instruct lawyers as soon as your agents start advertising the property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation which will be required by the purchasers’ solicitors.
- Many landlords or managing agents in Greenwich charge for supplying management packs for a leasehold property. You or your lawyers should find out the actual amount of the charges. The management pack can be applied for on or before finding a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in Greenwich.
I inherited a first flat in Greenwich. Given that I can not reach agreement with the landlord, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the premium due for a lease extension?
Most certainly. We can put you in touch with a Greenwich conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension case for a Greenwich flat 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 remaining number of years on the lease was 72 years.