Fixed-fee leasehold conveyancing in Harold Wood:

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Questions and Answers: Harold Wood leasehold conveyancing

Back In 2001, I bought a leasehold house in Harold Wood. Conveyancing and Lloyds TSB Bank mortgage organised. I have received a letter from someone claiming to own the freehold. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1994. The conveyancing solicitor in Harold Wood who previously acted has now retired.Do I pay?

The first thing you should do is contact HMLR to make sure that the individual claiming to own the freehold is in fact the new freeholder. You do not need to incur the fees of a Harold Wood conveyancing lawyer to do this as you can do this on the Land Registry website for £3. You should note that regardless, even if this is the rightful landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.

Last month I purchased a leasehold property in Harold Wood. Am I liable to pay service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?

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. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 work for a reputable estate agent office in Harold Wood where we see a few flat sales jeopardised as a result of short leases. I have been given conflicting advice from local Harold Wood conveyancing solicitors. Can you confirm whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the buyer?

As long as the seller has owned the lease for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. 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.

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 buyer.

All being well we will complete the sale of our £300000 garden flat in Harold Wood next week. The management company has quoted £384 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Harold Wood?

Harold Wood conveyancing on leasehold flats often requires the purchaser’s lawyer submitting questions for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to such questions most will be willing to do so. They are at liberty charge a reasonable charge for responding to enquiries or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average costs for the information that you are referring to is £350, in some transactions it is in excess of £800. The administration charge demanded by the landlord must be accompanied by a summary of entitlements and obligations in respect of administration charges, without which the charge is technically not due. In reality you have no choice but to pay whatever is demanded if you want to complete the sale of your home.

I am the registered owner of a garden flat in Harold Wood. Given that I can not reach agreement with the freeholder, can the Leasehold valuation Tribunal make a decision on the amount payable for a lease extension?

in cases where there is a missing landlord or where there is dispute about the premium for a lease extension, under the relevant statutes you can apply to the LVT to determine the price.

An example of a Lease Extension decision for a Harold Wood property 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 remaining number of years on the lease was 57.5 years.

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

Leasehold conveyancing in Harold Wood is not unique. Most leases are unique and drafting errors can result in certain sections are missing. 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
  • 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

A defective lease can cause problems when trying to sell a property primarily because it impacts on the ability to obtain a mortgage on the property. Lloyds TSB Bank, Leeds Building Society, and Bank of Ireland all have very detailed conveyancing instructions 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 withdraw.

Other Topics

Lease Extensions in Harold Wood