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Recently asked questions relating to Ham leasehold conveyancing

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a reasonable price which is making it all the more appealing. I have since discovered that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I am assuming that there are particular concerns buying a leasehold house in Ham. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been appointed. Will they explain the issues?

The majority of houses in Ham are freehold and not leasehold. This is one of the situations where having a local conveyancer used to dealing with such properties who can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Ham in which case you should be shopping around for a Ham conveyancing solicitor and check that they have experience in dealing with leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be at liberty to do whatever you want with the house. The lease comes with conditions for example requiring the freeholder’spermission to carry out changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a maintenance charge towards the upkeep of the communal areas where the house is part of an estate. Your conveyancer should appraise you on the various issues.

My wife and I purchased a leasehold flat in Ham. Conveyancing and Platform Home Loans Ltd mortgage are in place. A letter has just been received from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. It included a demand for arrears of ground rent dating back to 1997. The conveyancing practitioner in Ham who previously acted has long since retired.What should I do?

First contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is indeed the registered owner of the freehold reversion. You do not need to incur the fees of a Ham conveyancing practitioner to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 no more than 6 years of rent can be collected.

I am employed by a reputable estate agency in Ham where we have experienced a few leasehold sales put at risk as a result of short leases. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Ham conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can commence 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. The benefit of this is that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 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.

An alternative approach is 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 purchaser.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £325000 apartment in Ham in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Ham?

Ham conveyancing on leasehold apartments often involves the buyer’s conveyancer submitting questions for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is under no legal obligation to answer these enquiries the majority will be content to assist. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no upper cap for such fees. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some situations it is above £800. The management information fee demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of entitlements and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the invoice is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to exchange contracts with the buyer.

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 issues? Can you recommend a Ham conveyancing firm to act on my behalf?

You certainly can. We can put you in touch with a Ham conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Ham residence is Flat D 15 Claremont Gardens in September 2013. TheTribunal determined in accordance with section48 and Schedule13 of the Leasehold Reform,Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 that the premium for the extended lease should be fourteen thousand one hundred and eighty seven pounds (£14,187.00) This case related to 1 flat.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Ham what are the most common lease defects?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Ham. All leases are individual and drafting errors can result in certain clauses are wrong. The following missing provisions could result in a defective lease:

  • Repairing obligations to or maintain parts of the building
  • A duty to insure the building
  • 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 difficulties when selling your property if you have a defective lease as they can affect a potential buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. Lloyds TSB Bank, The Mortgage Works, and Godiva Mortgages Ltd all have very detailed requirements 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, forcing the purchaser to pull out.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Ham