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Questions and Answers: Harold Wood leasehold conveyancing

Having had my offer accepted I require leasehold conveyancing in Harold Wood. Before diving in I would like to find out the remaining lease term.

If the lease is registered - and most are in Harold Wood - 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 have just appointed agents to market my basement flat in Harold Wood.Conveyancing solicitors are to be appointed soon but I have just had a yearly maintenance charge invoice – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?

It best that you 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 couple of flats in Harold Wood which have approximately fifty years unexpired on the lease term. Should I regard a short lease as a deal breaker?

A lease is a right to use the premises for a period of time. As the lease shortens the value of the lease decreases and it becomes more expensive to extend the lease. For this reason it is advisable to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficult to sell a property with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be reluctant to lend money on such properties. Lease enfranchisement can be a protracted process. We advise that you seek professional assistance from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this arena

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on the disposal of our £175000 maisonette in Harold Wood next week. The freeholder has quoted £396 for Certificate of Compliance, building insurance schedule and previous years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge exorbitant fees for a flat conveyance in Harold Wood?

Harold Wood conveyancing on leasehold apartments usually involves the buyer’s solicitor submitting enquiries for the landlord to address. Although the landlord is not legally bound to address such questions the majority will be willing to assist. They may charge a reasonable charge for answering questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some cases it is above £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be sent together with a summary of rights and obligations in relation to administration fees, otherwise the charge is technically not due. Reality however dictates that one has little choice but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to complete the sale of your home.

Having spent months of negotiations we cannot agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in Harold Wood. Does the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have jurisdiction to calculate the appropriate figures?

Where there is a missing landlord or if there is disagreement about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant legislation it is possible to make an application to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to decide the premium.

An example of a Lease Extension case for a Harold Wood residence is 37 Lodge Court High Street in November 2013. the decision of the LVT was that the premium to be paid for the new lease was £25,559 This case was in relation to 1 flat. The unexpired lease term was 57.5 years.

When it comes to leasehold conveyancing in Harold Wood what are the most frequent lease problems?

There is nothing unique about leasehold conveyancing in Harold Wood. Most leases is drafted differently and legal mistakes in the legal wording can sometimes mean that certain clauses are wrong. 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.
  • Service charge per centages that don't add up correctly leaving a shortfall

You will encounter a problem when selling your property if you have a defective lease primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Santander, Chelsea Building Society, and Nottingham Building Society all have express requirements when it comes to what is expected in a lease. If a mortgage lender believes that the lease is defective they may refuse to grant the mortgage, obliging the purchaser to withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Harold Wood