Gunnersbury leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s
Due to exchange soon on a garden flat in Gunnersbury. Conveyancing solicitors have said that they are sending me a report next week. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Gunnersbury should include some of the following:
- You should receive a copy of the lease
I own a leasehold house in Gunnersbury. Conveyancing and Chelsea Building Society mortgage are in place. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Gunnersbury who previously acted has now retired.What should I do?
The first thing you should do is make enquiries of HMLR to make sure that this person is in fact the registered owner of the freehold reversion. It is not necessary to instruct a Gunnersbury conveyancing lawyer to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Last month I purchased a leasehold flat in Gunnersbury. Am I liable to pay service charges for periods before 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. A critical element 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 busy estate agent office in Gunnersbury where we see a number of flat sales derailed as a result of short leases. I have received inconsistent advice from local Gunnersbury conveyancing solicitors. Please can you shed some light as to whether the vendor of a flat can instigate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
As long as the seller has been the owner 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 sit tight for 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 am the proprietor of a first flat in Gunnersbury. In the absence of agreement between myself and the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the sum payable for the purchase of the freehold?
Most definitely. We can put you in touch with a Gunnersbury conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement matter before the tribunal for a Gunnersbury property is 169 Southfield Road in September 2013. the tribunal decided that the premium to be paid in respect of the collective enfranchisement should be £51,203 This case related to 2 flats. The the unexpired residue of the current lease was 64.64 years.
Are there common problems that you encounter in leases for Gunnersbury properties?
There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Gunnersbury. All leases is drafted differently and drafting errors can sometimes mean that certain provisions are missing. For example, if your lease is missing any of the following, it could be defective:
- A provision to repair to or maintain parts of the property
- Insurance obligations
- A provision for the recovery of money spent for the benefit of another party.
- Maintenance charge proportions which don’t add up to the correct percentage
You will have a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Accord Mortgages Ltd, Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale all have very detailed requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is problematic they may refuse to grant the mortgage, forcing the purchaser to pull out.